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HERD UPDATE 31.08.2020

General detail

  • The remaining 20 cows to be scanned where scanned on the 20th of August,  this gave us a final result of 10 cows not in calf from 93 cows and breakdown is as follows
  • The scanning result for the whole herd is as follows;
    • 83 cows scanned in-calf out of 93 cows put forward for breeding ( 89 % in-calf)
    • 58 cows held to first services (62%)
    • 19 cows held to 2nd services (20.4%)
    • Six  cows held to 3rd services
    • The 10 cows not in-calf will be culled out of the herd after weaning
  • All of the beef heifers are now fully recovered from the coccidiosis outbreak which occurred in early August.
    • None of these heifers can be sold until early October due to treatment, hence the farm is likely to have some heifers with higher than desirable fat covers when slaughtered.
    • Farm manager Iarlaith Collins has selected 39 heifers (526 Kg) who are likely to be ready for slaughter on the 5th of October. These heifers will get no meal and hopefully the weather works in our favour to keep them at grass until then.
    • Meal (3kg per head) was introduced to the remaining 18 heifers (492 Kg) on Wednesday and we are expecting a small portion of these heifers to be fit also to sell on the 5th of October. These heifers are being fed concentrates at grass.
  • Newford Farm sold the first of its beef bullocks to the factory this week (Thursday the 3rd Sept). A summary of their performance is listed below.
    • The three in-spec bullocks were drafted with no meal given to them
    • Their average liveweight was 675 Kg
    • They were just under 19 months of age
    • They were 164 days at grass since turnout
    • Their average  grade was R =  3 -
    • Their average kill out was 55 % off grass
    • The average price was €1,427
  • Meal feeding is fully in progress with all the calves at grass to prepare them for weaning. The calves are encouraged to creep graze forward ahead of the cows by simply raising an electric wire in one section of the paddock with two horse PVC plastic posts.
    • The creep feeding is being offered to the calves in troughs and they are on average consuming 0.5kg to 1 kg of creep per day.
    • The calves are receiving concentrates four weeks before weaning and this will continue right up to housing.
    • This process also boosts calf performance on the farm by offering the calves the best quality grass and using the cows to clean out paddocks.

Grass performance

  • Weather conditions are only fair at the moment in the west. This is leading to poor utilisation on all paddocks.
  • Soil temperature on Newford Farm on Monday the 31st August was 15.1 ° degrees at 10cm soil depth.
  • Grass growth on the home farm this week is 51 kg DM/Ha with a demand of 45 kg.
  • Three quarters of a bag of protected urea (38N + 7% S) per acre is being spread after each grazing at the moment.

Key recommendations for this week

  1. Get first cut silage tested
  2. Monitor grass covers closely and grass budget accordingly
  3. Monitor the beef heifers and all other stock closely  
  4. Start feeding the bullocks next week with concentrates at grass
  5. Keep disinfection replenished in all footbaths
  6. Keep mineral buckets out in paddocks with cows to guard against grass tetany
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