Calf birth registrations in NI are down 4%, or 10,600 head, during the first five months of the year when compared to the same period in 2023.

According to data compiled by the Livestock and Meat Commission (LMC), calf registrations have totalled 242,170 from January to May 2024.

That is down from 252,626 births registered over the same period in 2023.

When compared to 2022, the 2024 total is 6% lower, which equates to just over 16,100 head.


The most dramatic decline is in the suckler herd with 106,413 calves registered from January to May 2024.

That is 9,246 fewer births when compared to last year and a drop of 18,362 registrations on 2022 levels.

However, in recent years there has been a shift in calving patterns with a growing number of suckler calf births registered from May to August.

Dairy calves

Meanwhile, registrations of beef sired calves born to a dairy dam continue to rise with 79,482 births recorded from January to May, up from 76,653 last year and the 69,694 total from 2022.

That increase coincides with a decline in births of purebred dairy calves, with 55,077 born in the first five months of 2024, down from 56,479 last year and 63,854 back in 2022.

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