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Herd update 15.03.21

General detail

  •  81 % of the Newford Farm suckler herd has now calved
    • 94 cows were scanned in-calf 
    • 2 cows aborted before the calving season
    • 1 cow was scanned in calf, but suffered early embryo loss as she came bulling recently
    • This left 91 cows to calve down once the calving season started
    • First cow calved on the 26th of January
    • 73 cows out of the 91 in-calf animals have calved up to the 16th March (7 weeks)
    • There are 70 live calves on the ground with three cases of mortality as follows;
      • One died at a week old from a deformity in the small intestine;
      • One was a still birth and;
      • One calf died shortly after birth due to a navel-bladder infection
    • There are 18 cows left to calve as of 16th of March
    • Calves are being disbudded and are receiving treatment for coccidiosis as they come of age
    • They are also receiving their IBR and clostridial disease vaccination
    • At this moment in time there are no health issues to report on the farm
    • The average weight of all calves born at the moment is 38 kg
    • The average calving score is 1.3 and a detailed breakdown is listed below
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  • Newford Farm is using the “No Feed of Silage Rule” during the day. It works as follows;
    • Cows are restricted access to silage from 8am to 4.30pm daily
    • The cows have access to straw only during this time period
    • Iarlaith has found this method very successful and it has contributed to more efficient time management and reducing labour requirements during the night
    • Out of the 73 cows calved at the moment 9 cows or 12 % of the herd have calved between 1 am and 6 am in the morning 
    • Weather conditions at the beginning of March suited turnout of stock so Newford Farm took advantage of this and turned out the bulk of cows with calves at foot to grass. But unfortunately, and being typical of the west of Ireland, the weather broke and all cows and calves had to be rehoused on the 10th of March as poaching became an issue. However the farm got seven paddocks grazed off as part of its first rotation on the home farm and there was also significant savings in labour, straw usage and feeding costs.
    • Cows and Calves at grass on the 3rd of March. High –mag mineral lick buckets had been placed in all paddocks to prevent grass tetany.

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  • The body condition score of cows will be monitored over the next few weeks to ensure it remains on target in light of the breeding season starting in six weeks’ time (26th of April)

Yearling Animals

  • The Newford yearling heifers were turned to grass on the 27th of February weighing 411 kg
    • There were housed for 120 days over the winter period
    • Each heifer consumed 240 kg of concentrates costing €48 per heifer over the winter period
    • On average each heifer gained 62 kg body weight or 0.52 kg per day over the 120-day housing period.
    • These heifers are on one of the out farms (Cones Farm). Grazing of paddocks here was challenging during recent wet weather and heifers were moved quicker through the rotation to avoid poaching and sward damage   
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  • The yearling bullocks were also turned out to grass on the 3rd of March on Tuohy’s farm but due to the poor weather conditions they were rehoused again.
  • The below table outline’s the rainfall so far on Newford Farm
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Grass Walk

  • Three quarters of a bag of protected urea has been spread on all paddocks which did not receive any slurry at the start of the year.
  • Based on the spring planner rotation Newford Farm is aiming to have  1/3 of the farm grazed by the 17th of March, 2/3 by the end of March and all the farm grazed by mid-April as part of our first rotation, and at the moment we are over 1/3 of the home farm grazed.
  • All paddocks are been grass measured each week
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  • Newford Farm has posted its latest farm video on the Teagasc Facebook page.

TitleNewford Farm Early Turnout of Yearling Heifers