- Ground conditions have deteriorated further with 62mm of rain (2½ inches) falling in the first two weeks of September.
- As a result the decision was made to start weaning with 60 cows being weaned in two batches – Monday 11th and Wednesday 13th.
- The calves were housed and penned adjacent to the cows. Gates were tied in place so they could not access the cows (photo above).
- The weanlings had access to concentrates and silage and the cows were fed straw only to dry them off.
- 36 hours later the calves were allowed back to their mothers for their last suck and then moved to a straw bedded shed with access to creep and silage. These weanlings will return to grass in the coming days.
- The priority is to get calves out as soon as possible for health reasons (start weaning Monday – out Friday)
- After drying off the cows will be fed silage. Lime is being spread daily on slats under cows and they are scraped daily to prevent mastitis - this practise proved to be very successful last year. Cows will stay in until ground conditions improve.
- The remaining cows/calves are in Raheen Woods and these will be also weaned shortly.
- After 184 days at grass, 27 bullocks and 10 of the lightest heifers (all identified in Aug for shed finishing) were housed due to the poor ground conditions - these will be finished indoors.
- Newford is still planning to finish 20 bullocks and 22 heifers off grass if the weather and ground conditions hold out. These animals are on 5 Kgs of meal.
- 9 heifers went to the factory today.
- Unfortunately the calf that had Coccidiosis died during the week.
- All weanlings were weighted on the 11th September and the summary is as follows
- Visit Dawn Meats and Newford Farm at the Ploughing championship (Row 24, 542)
BETTER Farmers Northern Ireland visiting Newford Farm last week
Newford Farm welcomes all farmers and KT Discussion groups to the farm
Key recommendations for this week
- Check calves for pneumonia and coccidiosis
- Keep tetany buckets out with the remaining cows outside
- Build Autumn Grass wedge
- Watch out for any mastitis in the weaned cows