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HERD UPDATE 17.02.2020

General Detail

  • Newford Farm is half way through calving at the moment
    • 49 cows out of 99 in-calf animals calved up to 17 February
    • 48 live calves
    • 2 sets of twins
    • 3 cases of mortality
  • All of the main herd is in-calf to Charolais sires as follows:
    • Fiston (FSZ)
    • Hideal (HJD)
    • Bivouac (CH 2218)
  • First calvers are in-calf to the Limousin sire Ewedenvale Ivor (LM 2014)
  • The following table details the average birth weight and calving scores to-date:
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Calves content in a temporary creep set up in a feeding passage

  • Newford Farm manager Iarlaith Collins is using the “No Feed of Silage Rule” during the day. It works as follows;
    • Cows are restricted from silage from 8am to 4.30pm
    • The cows have access to straw during the time only
    • Since the 4th of February 35 cows have calved down and only one of them has calved during the night time
    • The bulk of the calving has taken place in the morning followed by day time and early evening

Iarlaith has found this method very successful and this has contributed to more efficient time management and cut labour requirements during the night

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Cows have access to straw only during the daytime

Electric wire in place to keep cows back from silage during the day time

  • The first group of cows and calves that were turned out to grass in early February had to be rehoused again due to poor weather conditions. 27 mm of rain fell in Athenry over the weekend which is delaying getting cows back to grass again
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First group of cows and calves that were rehoused after a few days at grass

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Large straw bales were placed at the end of the calving sheds and acted as a good barrier to wind and wintrily showers during storm Dennis

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  • The yearling heifers were weighed on the 11th February (94 days since housing 9th Nov). Heifers average 399kg live weight and achieved an average daily gain of 0.73kg to-date while housed. Concentrate supplementation has now ceased.
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  • Soil temperature on Newford Farm on Monday 17th February was 5 ° degrees at 10cm soil depth.
  • Newford Farm is closed to groups / visitors until the calving period is finished.

Key recommendations for this week

  1. Monitor all cows.
  2. Make initial enquiries on teaser bulls for the breeding season in 11 weeks’ time.
  3. Prepare for disbudding calves as they come of age.
  4. Order vaccinations for clostridia, IBR and coccidiosis prevention.
  5. Watch out for any health issues in cows.
  6. Check the health of new-born calves each morning and evening.
  7. Treat the navel’s of new-born calves a number of times.
  8. Keep all tagging and birth registration information up to date.
  9. Keep all footbaths full with disinfectant at entry points to sheds.
  10. Check all water troughs are clean in the pens regularly.
  11. Monitor condition of in-calf heifers.