There has been a steady decline in suckler cow numbers across Northern Ireland, which has resulted in reduced numbers of beef-bred store cattle being available to finishers. There is a renewed interest in beef from the dairy herd. 

Linden now only rear Aberdeen Angus and Continental male and female calves in their Linden Livestock calf units. This is to help meet the growing demand from Linden Foods’ beef finishers for well reared quality dairy-bred calves. Linden provides their finishers with a unique opportunity to purchase a sizable batch of animals to meet their demand.

All the calf units are purpose built to provide high welfare, well ventilated calf rearing accommodation. The calves enter the units between 50 and 60 kilos, and remain in the units until they are more than 100 kilos, at which stage they are batched to meet the customer’s specification and prepared for moving to the finisher.

During their period on the calf rearing unit the calves will be vaccinated against the major causes of respiratory disease including IBR, providing them with improved immune systems to help reduce infection.

The objective of the calf units is produce as well-grown calves in relation to their age, breed and sex. Research suggests that well-grown calves will perform better at later stages of life. This is achieved by ensuring that the calves are on a high plane of nutrition from when they enter the units, and that all aspects of management are of the highest standards.

It is envisaged that the majority of the calves will enter a 21 to 24 month beef finishing system, aiming for a carcass weight of 280 to 340 kilos at less than two years old.

The success of any beef enterprise is based on having healthy stock. They must be well managed to maximize life time gains from both grazed grass and silage, and making sure that the carcasses achieve the highest prices available at the time of slaughter.

If you would like to learn more about the Linden Livestock calf units, or are interested in purchasing a batch of calves, please contact any member of the Linden Foods Livestock team.