Aonghusa Fahy July/August update
- Taking out surplus grass
- Clover management
- Staying on target
- Bull castration
- Dosing for lungworm
- Weanling vaccination
- Forward creep grazing of weanlings
The average grass growth in July was 46kgs/DM/ha/day but due to lack of rainfall this has fallen to just 29kg/DM/ha/day in the last week of August. Average Farm cover (AFC) has also fallen from an average of 751kgs/Dm/ha in July to 649kgs/DM/ha. There are now 17 days of grass ahead and as we head into September this needs to be increased. However, demand on the homefarm can be reduced by moving weanlings to the outfarm in Tulla once they are weaned in September.
At the beginning of July, 40 surplus bales were taken off the homefarm as pre – grazing yields were too high. There is good clover content in the grazing swards (see pic)and to encourage more clover very little nitrogen has been applied during the summer. Also , the paddocks are grazed at lighter covers (1000-1200kgs/DM) and grazed tightly each time.
The bull weanlings were castrated in August before weaning and at a lighter weight. This decision was taken to reduce stress for the male weanlings. The vet carried out the procedure and the weanlings showed no signs of any discomfort post castration. To prevent any incidence of pneumonia the weanlings will be vaccinated with Bovipast with the first shot to be given by the end of August and the booster 4-6 weeks after the initial one.
As there has been some coughing weanlings have been given an Animec Super injection for lungworm and stomach worms.
The weanlings are allowed to forward graze ahead of the cows. This has a number of advantages;
- Weanlings get priority access to fresh pasture which will help increase live weight gain from grass. At this time of year the cows supply from milk drops and the calves become more dependent on grass
- It allows a more controlled way of feeding meal in troughs vs a creep feeder. All the weanlings get meal. Generally when using a creep feeder only the strong ones will access the feeder and consume the meal. The lighter weanlings than need the meal won’t get access when using a creep feeder.
- Forward creep grazing helps breaks the social bond with their mothers- this will help at weaning
- The cows can be ‘forced’ to clean out the paddock-while the weanling has access to the next paddock
Aonghusa uses 2 tall horse stakes to lift the electric wire that allows the weanlings to move forward while keeping the cows in the existing paddock (see picture).
The below picture of a CH heifer calf from AI bull Whitecliffe born on the 18 Feb 2022. Her ADG is 1.9kgs since birth.