Frequently asked questions
What are the most important things to making this system succeed?
High growth rates, low mortality and achieving R/U grade confirmation at slaughter.
Growth rates of between 1.6 and 1.9 kg DLW gain need to be achieved so that finishing is between 13-15 months of age.
Why do you not advocate using bulls?
Three reasons, bulls are heavily penalised on price over steer prices and we have found that on an intensive system the performance of steers is only fractionally behind that of bulls, also the temperament of steers as opposed to bulls is much better, making the handling of the stock easier and the general well being of the animals more stable. The food consumption of steers is less compared to that of bulls.
How much feed do they eat?
On a dry barley based ration 2-2.3 tonnes per animal.
What about bedding?
Barley or Wheat straw, to maximise growth rates they need bedding regularly and access to clean fresh water at all times.
What about respiratory diseases?
The reared calves are vaccinated against respiratory diseases, but as with all stock they need careful management after they arrive and for the first couple of weeks.
What about buildings?
As with all stock they need adequate, well ventilated buildings. If you don’t have decent cattle accommodation we would not advise you to embark on such a system. You will also need good handling facilities.
How do you recommend we market the cattle?
Buying the best quality reared calves is essential for producing a 340/350 kg DW R/U grade carcass.
This is very much “in spec” for all the main stream abattoirs. We have a number of outlets already in place to take cattle of this type. We do not envisage any problems in marketing the cattle.
Where are the calves reared?
In one of our specialist rearers units in Barnard Castle, Thirsk or Tadcaster. We are happy for you to select your own reared calves.
Is there a TB issue?
No, the calves are TB tested in the calf units, and the rearers are in TB 4 areas and the cattle are housed throughout their life.
Are they dehorned and castrated prior to delivery?
Have you got producers already operating this system?
Yes and we are happy to show you the system “in action”.
How much are the reared calves and how can I order them?
Prices vary so I am not going to quote a price now, but ring the office for an up to date quote. We normally require 3 months notice to full fill reared calf orders. All orders are confirmed in writing. We are happy to visit your farm and give you on the spot advice.