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Herd Update 26.03.2020

General Detail

  • 92% of the Newford Farm suckler herd has now calved
    • 91 cows out of 99 in-calf animals (92%) have calved up to 25th of March
    • There is no calving difficulty to report on the farm at the moment
    • There are 89 live calves on the ground including two sets of twins
    • There has been four cases of mortality
    • All calves are being disbudded and receiving treatment for coccidiosis as they come of age
  • The average calf birth weight is 37 Kg
    • Average bull calf weight is 38 Kg
    • Average heifer calf weight is 36 Kg
  • The average calving score for the herd so far is 1.4
    • The following table details the average birth weight and calving scores to-date:
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Stock Turnout

With the welcome change in weather 80 cows and 80 calves were turned out to grass this week.

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  • High-mag mineral lick buckets have been placed in all paddocks to prevent grass tetany.
  • For the moment cows are running in three grazing groups.
  • 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 four weeks.
  • Fortunately for Newford the good weather has come just in time as silage reserves were beginning to run low. Winter feeding started in early September 2019 and lasted six months.
  • The upturn in weather came at the right time with silage reserves running low.

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Yearling weighing update

  • Yearling bullocks and heifers have also been turned out to grass in the last week.
    • The steers (46) went to grass on the 22nd March weighing an average of 437kg.
    • Their ADG over the winter was 0.75kg (housed for 134 days).
    • The heifers (59) were turned out to grass on the 24th of March with an average liveweight of 411kg.
    • Their ADG over the winter period was 0.60kg (housed for 136 days).
    • A summary table of their performance over the winter is detailed below.
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A snapshot of yearling steers aged 13 months on average which were turned out to grass this week.

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Grazing Management

  • Like most farms across the country Newford is behind on its first grazing rotation. All efforts will be made in the coming days and weeks to get this back on track.
  • The yearling heifers are grazing “Cones” out farm block and the plan is to close this farm for first cut silage on the 11th of April.
  • The cows will be encouraged to graze  out paddocks as long as weather allows to ensure good quality grass regrowth.
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Grass Performance

  • Soil temperature on Newford Farm on Monday the 25th of March was 9.7 ° degrees at 10cm soil depth. 
  • The average farm cover and growth in the last week across the different grazing blocks; 
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*Cover carried out on the 23rd of March

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

Key recommendations for this week

  1. Get teaser bulls onto Newford farm.
  2. Take note of any cows coming bulling and record.
  3. Ensure paddocks are well grazed.
  4. Disbud calves as they come of age.
  5. Check the health of new-born calves each morning and evening.
  6. Treat the navel of new-born calves.
  7. Keep all tagging and birth registration information up to date.
  8. Keep all footbaths full with disinfectant at entry points to sheds.
  9. Check all water troughs are clean in the pens regularly.