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Aonghusa Fahy March/April 2024



  • Calving update for 2024
  • Cows get 1 kg of meal to help maintain body condition while indoors
  • The calves are let out by day


  • Cows and calves finally get back out on grass in mid April
  • Some grass covers will be too heavy for grazing
  • Delay in getting slurry out but Pro Urea is applied


  • Preparation for the breeding season
  • AI will start on April 22nd
  • The bull team is picked


Calving started on the 9th of February and was all completed by the 28th of March ie 7 weeks. There are many advantages to having such a compact calving system mainly;

  • All of the calves will be very similar in age so all can be treated as 1 group
  • Aonghusa finds that he is totally focussed on the one job ie calving only
  • Less Labour – it is as easy to look at a number of cows rather than just one.

The big challenge this spring was getting out to grass. Aonghusa had any calved cows out in February but had to re-house again.

Photo: All cows and heifers calved in under 7 weeks.

Fortunately, Aonghusa had kept high quality silage and he added 1 kg of meal in order to keep the cows in good body condition. In addition, the young calves were  let out the field through a creep gate during the day. This lessened the demand on the cow plus breaking the bond will bring the cow back in heat quicker. In addition it saved on a lot of straw.

Photo: Cows and calves back in for March 


Grazing in March was very difficult even on a dry farm like this. Aonghusa kept moving stock in rotation but finally had to re-house.

Photo: poor ground conditions in March

Photo: good grass but poor ground conditions

All of the grassland area got 25 units of pro Urea plus S  at easter when ground conditions improved. It is difficult to get slurry out as grass covers are too strong. Some heavier grass covers will be removed as bales in the first week of May and slurry applied immediately.

Photo; April 17th – Finally back out

Photo; Some paddocks will get another 20units of N/acre and cut early May


Aonghusa plans to start breeding on April 22nd. The vasectomised bull is running with the cows for the three weeks prior to the start date. Aonghua has picked up the heats on all except two. So the bull is well acclimatised. As a part-time farmer using AI, Aonghusa uses Mooheat as a heat detection aid. For some extra assistance he will also tail-paint the cows along with manual observation. He is happy that the cows are in good condition despite been indoors too long.

He plans to AI for six weeks and then use the LM stock bull for mopping up.

Photo: Maiden heifers are averaging 400kgs.

The big advantage about AI is that Aonghua can pick a team of bulls to match the cows and heifers.  A CH bull, Igor last year was used and the calves were top quality and easli calved . He will  use him on plain cows again . LM bulls Loyal and Drumline S   are picked for replacements and he will use these on proven cows . This year Aonghusa  ordered five Jalabert  straws. This is a CH bull with a replacement index of €173 and a terminal of €167 and he is easy calving for cows. The angus bull red perfection will be used on the maiden heifers.