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Herd Update 09.07.18

General Detail

  • All the Newford Suckler cows were weighted and body score along with weighting the calves on the 27th of June and the following is the summary of the weighing and body scores.
  • Despite this drought period the cows are holding their body conditions very well, even with the introduction of round bales of  silage in round feeders in the paddocks
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  • All the young stock is performing well during this very difficult drought conditions. Troughs have been left out for the calves as in a follow leader system ( they just go under the wire into the next paddock ahead of the cows to get at their creep)
  • Newford farm had a herd TB test last week and all animals pass.

The 23 replacement heifer calves have settled in well on the contracted rearing farm in Tuam . The following is their weighing results . Their target breeding weight next April 2019 is 340 Kgs

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Grassland Management Details

Newford Farm feed management plan during the current drought conditions:

  • The Newford farm, like many farms throughout the country is feeling the effect of the drought conditions. The cows are been fed  surplus round bales of silage at grass  in ring feeders to stretch the grass cover on the farm while also trying to maintain the grass cover , so the cover dose not completed evaporate during  this drought period .
  • Which will leave the farm with a very difficult task to build up covers again as we begin to head towards the autumn.
  • The 100 suckler cow herd at the moment is getting 4 round bales of silage per day. By giving the cows the round bales this has lower the farm demand on grass to 23 kg /Ha/day but it is eating away our surplus round bales which Newford made in May.
  • As this drought period is prolonging, Newford farm has decided to sell all of its beef heifers off the land. This decision was not taken lightly, but decisions had to be made for the good of the farm and the other animals.
  • These heifers were weighted on the 9th of July. From their pervious weighing to this weighing the heifers did 1.15 Kg per day.  (23 Kgs over 20 days).
  • These heifers were also getting round bales of silage at grass
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  • The beef bullocks on Touhy’s farm are getting 4 kg of meals at grass. The aim is to finish them off as soon as possible.


  • Bale silage can be fed at ANY stage after wrapping. The secret to this is that the bales are consumed almost immediately or certain within 24 hours.
  • Put out 2 bales each day instead of 4 bales for 2 days.
  • A typical bale made from surplus grass has about 200kg DM.
  • 2 round bales will provide 100 animals with 4 kg DM/head /day.
  • Expected intakes of round bales silage would be 3-4 kg DM for a 3-4 hour feeding period (mature animals) provided all animals have equal access.
  • Actions need to be taken in advance to prevent situation worsening.
  • Similar plan can be replicated on farms dealing with drought conditions. Grass 10 ( John Maher and Catherine Egan)
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Grass cover taken last Monday the 9th July

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Key recommendations for this week

  1. Monitor grass conditions daily
  2. Keep round feeders top up when required
  3. Watch calves closely for pneumonia / sun stroke / Summer Mastitis
  4. Check all water troughs for adequate amount of water.
  5. Check all water wells.
  6. Plan the scanning of the cows
  7. Book vet for castration