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HERD UPDATE 20.04.2020

General Detail

  • Calving on Newford farm is now complete for 2020. The last cow calved on Monday morning.
  • Summary of 2020 calving
    • All 99 cows have calved with 97 live calves on the ground (including two sets of twins)
    • There was four cases of mortality
    • Average calf birth weight is 37 Kg
      • Average bull calf weight is 39 Kg
      • Average heifer calf weight is 36 Kg
    • All calves will receive their clostridial booster  vaccination this week
  • The average calving score for the herd was is 1.4
    • The following table details the average birth weight and calving scores :
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  • The Breeding season will start on Monday 27th of April.
    • All cows were tail painted last week and heat detection was been recorded in a note book for the last two weeks
    • Cows will be batched into two groups for the breeding season and a teaser bull will run with each group
      • There will be roughly 50 cows in each group
    • Each teaser bull will be fitted with a chin ball harness for marking the cows
    • 100 % AI will be used on the farm again this year.
    • The breeding season will last for 10 weeks and  finish on 6th July
    • Once a day AI will be used and cows will be inseminated at midday each day.
    • If a cow is AI’d at 12 noon and she is still showing signs of been in heat again that evening , that same cow will be AI’d again the next day (12 noon)
    • The majority of Newford cows are in an ideal body condition score for breeding.
    • Cows will be tail painted yellow for the first round
  • The following criteria was used this year when selecting sires for the Newford Herd
  • 5 Star Terminal Index (within & across)
    • < 7.4 % calving difficulty for strong mature cows ( Beef cow )
    • < 5 % calving difficulty for young cows ( Beef cow)
    • > 70 % reliability on the calving difficulty index
    • > 2.00 score on Conformation
    • < 7 % for 1st calvers ( Beef heifer )
    • > 35 Kg predicted carcase weight for mature cows
    • > 25 Kg predicted carcase weight for young cows
  • Sires which will be used on the Newford Herd for 2020 are as follow:
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  • The two teaser bulls were purchased ready to go with all vaccinations administered before sale. They cost €2.20/kg and arrived into the yard weighing 370 Kg.
  • Both teaser bulls have had a nose ring applied by the vet since arriving onto the farm.  

Grass performance

  • Soil temperature on Newford Farm on Monday the 20th of April was 12.2 ° degrees at 10cm soil depth.
  • A half bag of protected urea per acre is being spread after each grazing at the moment.
  • All paddocks for first cut pit silage have now been closed on Cones farm (17 ha) and 4ha has been closed on Tuohy’s farm for first cut round silage bales.
  • All silage ground has received 2,500 gals of cattle slurry and 92 units of protected urea.
  • Grass growth has been very good in the last number of days. This has allowed Newford to cut a number of paddocks for round bales (14 acres) on Tuesday the 21st April.

The average farm cover and growth in the last week across the different grazing blocks is listed in the table below;

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*Cover carried out on the 19th of April

  • Newford Farm is closed to groups / visitors until the calving period is finished.

Key recommendations for this week

  1. Monitor all cows regularly for heat detection
  2. Watch out for any health issues with the cows , especially Grass Tetany
  3. Keep teaser bull’s ball harness topped up with paint
  4. Monitor grass growth closely
  5. Keep mineral buckets out in paddocks with the cows