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HERD UPDATE 14.09.2020

General detail

  • Two batches of the weanlings totalling 51 head have now been weaned. The first group was weaned on the 7th of September and the second batch on Monday the 14th of September.   
    • Weanlings are weighed as they are weaned.
    • All the male calves (40) were weaned in the first two groups. Their average weight was 314 Kg giving an average daily gain since birth of 1.39 Kg per day.
    • The first bunch of 11 heifer calves’ weaned average weight was 292Kg (ADG 1.34 kg). The rest of the heifers will weaned towards the end of the month
    • All cows are been weighed and body scored during the weaning process.
  • The weaning procedure includes housing weanlings in adjacent penning to their dams. Gates are tied in place so weanlings cannot access cows to suckle. The fact that they still have visual and sensory access to cows is helping in reducing stress.
  • While housed weanlings have access to concentrates and silage, while cows are offered straw only to aid in reducing milk yield and drying off.
  • After a separation period of 36 hours, the weanlings are joined back with cows for their last suck. The weanlings are then moved to a straw-bedded shed which is out of sight of cows. They continue to have access to concentrates and silage.
  • The next priority for the weanlings is to get them back to grass as soon as possible with this practice also helping to lower the risk of any health issues.
  • When the cows are dried off they will be fed silage. Slats are scraped daily and a light layer of lime is spread on top of the slats. This practice has proven to be very successful over the last number of years in helping to reduce the incidence of mastitis.

Pictured above: Lime on Slats

Pictured above: Mineral buckets with cows.

  • Newford farm is hoping to return these cows back to grass for a period of time if weather conditions allow.
  • The last  batch of animals for weaning will be brought indoors next Monday, the 21th of September

Pictured above: Heifer calf born 10th February - Sire Fiston (FSZ)

  • Meal feeding is continuing to steers at a rate of 5 kg per head daily. This will underpin their performance as the feeding quality of grass reduces and help to increase the number of steers finished off grass.
  • The lightest beef heifers (18) also continue to receive concentrate supplementation of 5 kg per head daily.

Pictured above: The lightest heifers which are receiving concentrates.

· The heavier batches of heifers (39) are thriving well at grass and are not receiving any concentrates. These heifers are on target to be finished off grass and will be sold on the 5th of October if weather conditions remains in our favour without any concentrates being fed at grass.

Pictured above:

Born: 18th Feb 2019
Sire: Fiston (FSZ)
Weight on the 2nd Sept: 548Kg, No Meals
Age: 18 ½ months

Pictured above:

Born: 22nd Mar 2019
Sire: Fiston (FSZ)
Weight on the 2nd Sept: 544Kg, No Meals
Age: 17 ½ months

Pictured above:

Born: 15th Feb 2019
Sire: LM 4093
Weight on the 2nd Sept: 506Kg, No Meals
Age: 18 ½ months

Pictured above:

Born: 27th Feb 2019
Sire: THZ
Weight on the 2nd Sept: 514Kg, No Meals
Age: 18 ½ months

Pictured above:

Born: 25th Mar 2019
Sire: EBY
Weight on the 2nd Sept: 484Kg, No Meals
Age: 17 ½ months Heifers Calf

  • Iarlaith Collins, Manager of Newford Farm features on this week’s episode of the Beef Edge Podcast.  Listen in here: to get an update on how this year’s weanlings are performing up to weaning and general update on the far.                                                                                                                                                                     

Grass performance

  • Weather conditions have improved in the last week creating better utilisation of swards.
  • Soil temperature on Newford Farm on Monday the 14th Sept was 16 ° degrees at 10cm soil depth.
  • All fertiliser spreading is finished for this year. Farm yard manure will be spread in the coming weeks on the first paddocks which will be closed in the coming week or two.
  • Silage  testing of the first cut pit and round bales was carried out this week and the samples were sent to Hillsborough AFBI centre for testing
    • Results will be available next week

Key recommendations for this week

  1. Monitor cows and calves are weaning
  2. Watch cows for mastitis
  3. Keep mineral buckets to weaned cows
  4. Selected paddocks for closing soon
  5. Monitor grass covers closely and grass budget accordingly
  6. Weighted steers and draft any fit bullocks


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