Ireland’s progeny testing programme which is carried out by ICBF at Tully, Co. Kildare recently slaughtered 100 Dairy Beef steers at Slaney Foods International, Bunclody, Co. Wexford. The progeny was sired by 23 different sires across 6 different breeds (Angus, Aubrac Hereford, Belgian Blue, Stabiliser and Limousin).

Table 2: Breakdown of progeny tested by sire and breed.

Growth rate, feed intake and carcass results

The average carcass weight for the group was 323 kgs with carcass weight ranging from 260 kgs to 377 kgs. They average daily gain for the group during their 66-day performance test/finishing period was 1.6 kgs per head per day. Average growth rate within the group ranged from 0.83 kgs to 2.4 kgs per head per day. The average initial liveweight for the group was 537 kgs and the final liveweight was 612 kgs.

The average kill-out for the group was 53%, with kill-out ranging from 48.5% to 57%. 36 of the steers graded in the R category, 63 were in the O grade conformation with one steer grading in the P grade class. The average dry matter intake (DMI) per day for the group was 12.2 kgs, with steers consuming from 9.1 to 15.6 kgs per head per day on a DMI basis. The average feed efficiency for the group was 8.15 and ranged from 5.14 to 11.6. The 100 steers were ultrasonically scanned pre-slaughter for muscular depth (mm), fat depth (mm) and intramuscular fat. The ultrasound data is currently being analyzed to see if it has a relationship with the taste attributes of the meat from each of the animals.

The steers were fed a TMR consisting of hay, water and meal over their 66-day finishing period.  Overall, the steers performed exceptionally well for their age and were gaining 0.86 kgs of carcass for each day they were on test at Tully. The data demonstrates the large variation in performance between dairy beef progeny in a finishing system.


Table 1: Data summary of a recent group of 100 dairy beef steers tested through the Tully Progeny Test Centre and slaughtered at Slaney Foods, Co. Wexford.