Aberdeen-Angus calf registrations lead way for third year in row

Aberdeen-Angus calves made up 27% of total registrations in 2023, data shows
Aberdeen-Angus calves made up 27% of total registrations in 2023, data shows

The latest registration data shows that Aberdeen-Angus lead the way for the third year in a row, with 10% growth over the last six years.

With over 15,000 more calf registrations in 2023 compared to 2022, Aberdeen-Angus calves made up 27% of total registrations.

This is 7.7% more registrations than the next closest breed, according to the BCMS data.

Robert Gilchrist, CEO of the Aberdeen-Angus Cattle Society, says that both the beef and dairy sector are increasingly turning to Aberdeen-Angus genetics as the focus on sustainability sharpens.

“We’ve been the beef sire of choice in the UK for the last three years, and it’s very positive to see continued growth,” he explains.

When it comes to beef production, Mr Gilchrist says there is no doubt that margins within suckler production are tight, but many of the key advantages of Aberdeen-Angus genetics align with profitability.

“High-growth rates and the ability to convert low quality feed into a high-quality product that commands a premium in the market, are vital traits when it comes to efficient and profitable production,” he says.

“Traits such as calf vigour, being polled, easier handling due to their natural docility, are also becoming key drivers for Aberdeen-Angus genetics, especially as farm labour tightens.”

The breeds exceptional maternal and terminal traits have resulted in significant growth in Aberdeen-Angus registrations from the dairy sector.

Mr Gilchrist says that short gestation, calving ease and calf vigour are some of the Aberdeen-Angus traits that dairy farmers value.

“The gestation length can be seven to 10 days shorter than some continental breeds, which means you can get cows milking quicker and back in-calf sooner.”

In addition, Mr Gilchrist says the high market demand and premium prices for registered Aberdeen-Angus sired calves also make them the preferred choice.

“Buyers of dairy cross calves will be reassured knowing the sire of a registered Aberdeen-Angus bull, not only because it will secure a premium at the point of sale but because the cattle will grow-on well and finish quickly from lower quality inputs.

“These traits are becoming increasingly important as we shift towards more sustainable methods of beef production, where efficiency, the environment and economics all need to be considered.”