Location: Antylstown, Navan, Co. Meath
Farm size: 60ha
Current System: Calf to 18-20 month store cattle
Local Teagasc Advisor: Donal McCabe
Aidan is currently farming 46ha of grassland and 14ha of forestry in Navan, Co. Meath. The farm is in two blocks with 40ha being owned and 20ha leased. Previous to rearing dairy calves, Aidan had been operating a tillage enterprise along with keeping a group of suckler cows. Almost 20 years ago he decided to cut back on cow numbers, quit the tillage and start to operate a dairy calf to beef enterprise.
Usually Aidan would buy between 100 and 110 Aberdeen Angus, Hereford and Friesian calves each year. The Angus and Hereford calves were kept on the farm until they reached 20 months old while the Friesian calves were sold at 18 months of age. All cattle were sold as forward stores.
The farmyard is well set up in terms of buildings for calves and store cattle. Aidan feels he could get more of a return out of his cattle if he were to bring them through to slaughter instead of selling as stores. To do this he will have to scale back on the number of calves he will purchase this spring in order to have adequate housing space.
Aidan’s son Luke attends Ballyhaise Agricultural College and has a good interest in the home farm. He helps out in the evenings and weekends.