Cows and Calves
All cows and calves were weighed aspart of our SCEP requirements. Calves averaged 235 kg and cows 590 kg on the 11thJuly. The calves have an average daily livewight gain of 1.3 kg since birth
have a prediced 200 day weight of 305 kg. The calves were dung sampled also and
came back positive for lungworm and have since been dosed.
All of the calves received their firstshot of Bovipast in early July and will get their second shot in the coming weeks. This will mean all calves should have full immunity prior to weaning and
should reduce any respiratory infections around the stress of weaning. Bull
calves were castrated at the end of July. The calves are creeping aheah of the
cows under raised temporary wire to allow access to the best grass and have
also been introduced to meal in recent days.
The greenfeed has recently beenintroduced to the cows and calves after finishing its stent with the yearling cattle. It will be used to observe metahne and carbon dioxide emmissions from
the stock with the hope of determining the total annual emmisions from cows and
cattle in a grass based suckler beef system.
Although growth has picked up during July, managing grass has provendifficult as a result of the high rainfall levels over the last month. Athenry had 224 ml of rainfall in July. Some paddocks spent a few days completely under water. Despite this, grazeouts have remained quite good with the exception of some particularly wet days where cows were moved on early to avoid poaching but these paddocks will hopefully be cleaned out well the next time. Fertiliser was spread (18 units/acre protected urea) on some paddocks with several high clover paddocks skipped. Growth in these clover paddocks has remained strong.
With no sign of a good chance to get second cut silage done, the farm willcome under pressure in the coming weeks for grass without any after grass back in the rotation. The second cut is ready for mowing as soon as the weather permits.
We will shortly be starting to call the yearling cattle ‘finishingcattle’, with the first of this years’ heifers starting to come near fit. All cattle were weighed during July and heifers are averaging 515 kg with the bullocks averaging 540 kg. Bullocks have maintained and ADG of 1.2 kg since May with heifers slightly behind on 0.75 kg.
As a result of this, heifers have been introduced tomeal on the 1st August to help finish them off grass and ensureadequate fat cover. They will be fed 3 kg/day with hopes to draught the first of them for finishing in late August.