Our Organisation Search
Quick Links
Toggle: Topics

Farm update week of July 16th 2018

General Details

  • 96 cows and 96 calves, 29 replacement heifers, 99 steers/heifers currently at grass
  • Herd test was undertaken Monday 9th July
    • Results were all clear
  • Dung samples were taken on the 13th of July from yearling groups to establish if there was a worm burden
    • Very low egg count in the samples taken
  • Calf/yearling sample: average 83 eggs per gram of faeces 

Breeding

  • Start date : 02/05/18
  • Finish date: 25/07/2018
  • 12 weeks of AI
  • A scan is scheduled for the end of the breeding season
  • Cows and replacement heifers are being closely monitored for repeats
  • Tail paint, AM: PM heat detection and AI
  • Cows and heifers being observed 4 times per day

Animal performance

  • All animals were weighed this week
  • Farm was walked on Monday and average farm cover was low (AFC 441 kg DM/ha)
    • Highest grass covers were 800 kg DM/ha but majority were < 400 kg DM/ha
  • We had a slight increase in growth this week compared with previous weeks
    • The national 5 year (2013 – 2017 inclusive) average growth rate for this week is 70kg DM/ha/day (See Figure 1 below) compared with 27 kg DM/ha this year
  • We have grazed all our area for second cut silage due to poor re-growths on grazing ground
  • Cow groups are being fed baled silage from surplus paddocks cut earlier in the year
  • All groups are being allocated a small quantity of grass to their diet
    • We are grazing ¼ of the farm (16.25 hectares) each week to keep a 28 day rotation
  • Steers/heifers are currently receiving 2 kg per head concentrates to reduce overall grass demand
  • 17 animals have been selected for finishing
    • These animals are currently getting 3.5 kg concentrates which we plan to increase to 5 kg per head
  • When the rain comes over the next few weeks, we are hoping to close area for 2nd cut silage

Yearlings

Heifers

Steers

Average

Average weight (kg)

411.0

435.1

422.6

ADG since turnout (kg/day)

0.98

0.98

0.98

 

Calves

Heifers

Bulls

Average

Birth weight (kg)

44.6

50.0

47.3

Average weight (kg)

184.3

200.3

192.3

ADG since birth (kg/day)

1.13

1.25

1.19

Picture 1: A bull calf from the Derrypatrick herd (sire FSZ). Bull average daily again from birth is 1.25 kg/day.

 

Picture 2: A heifer calf from the Derrypatrick herd (sire QCD). Heifer average daily again from birth is 1.13 kg/day.

Grass

Grassland management

The details below are for the full Derrypatrick farm:

Cover taken 16/07/2018

 

Average farm cover (kg DM/ha)

441

Growth (kg DM/ha/day)

27

Demand (kg DM/day/day)

32

DM content (%)

30.5%

  • No N fertiliser has been spread for the previous 3 weeks

 Table 1: DM% samples from this week

Trial

Date

Time

Weather

DM%

Derrypatrick

16/07/2018

11.00

dry

33.5

Derrypatrick

16/07/2018

11.00

dry

29.5

Derrypatrick

16/07/2018

11.00

dry

30.3

Derrypatrick

16/07/2018

11.00

dry

31.5

Derrypatrick

16/07/2018

11.00

dry

29.1

Derrypatrick

16/07/2018

11.00

dry

27.4

Derrypatrick

16/07/2018

11.00

dry

32.1

min

  • 4

max

  • 5

ave

  • 5

Figure 1: PastureBase Ireland national grass growth curve for 2016, 2017 and 2018

Weekly planner

  • Monitor all cows and heifers regularly for heat detection
  • Do weekly grass covers and monitor re-growths closely
  • Check animals daily

Grass10 recommendations to reduce demand for suckler cows & calves

  • Wean autumn born calves
  • Wean spring calves early this year (minimum 250 kg). Lighter weanlings should be forward creep grazed (raised wire) and supplemented with concentrates
  • Silage or hay should be used to supplement cows at grass to slow down the rotation (30+ days). Where winter fodder supplies are in a deficit, alternative feeds may have to be supplemented e.g. concentrates, straights etc
  • Under-performing cows (empty cows, late calvers etc.) should be culled