Our Organisation Search
Quick Links
Toggle: Topics

John Dunne November/December 2023



  • Weighings highlight a difficult year for animal performance
  • 200 day suckler weights
Animal Nutrition

Animal Nutrition


  • Silage sample result – John is happy with the report





  • Poor ground conditions lead to housing 1 month earlier than normal



Animal Performance

John was busy weighing his cattle in October . The Dairy/Beef  calves were weighed on the 18th of October. The male average weight was 194kgs giving an average daily gain of 0.61kgs. John would like the performance to be better at least 0.70kgs/day.

The female calves weighed 173kgs giving an average daily gain of just 0.54kgs which was disappointing. John feels that grass was very wet for most of the summer and had very low dry matter. Both sets of calves were fed 1kg of concentrate /day.

200 day weight report;

The report  is  designed to identify the most efficient performers in the herd but also and maybe more importantly, the most inefficient cow/calf pairing . The report predicts the 200 day weight of the weanling. The 200 day weight   is an international Key Performance Indicator (KPI) for suckler herds.

In simple terms, the 200-day weight report or weaning performance report  measures the cow’s ability to rear her calf. 

The report begins with a run-down of the herd with total number of animals weighed, the ADG and the average 200 day weight of the herd.  The report below shows that 62 calves  were weighed and the overall average daily gain since birth  (ADG) was 0.92 kgs.  John would like this figure to be 1.2kgs/day. As a result of the 200day weighing John must now examine the suckler herd in more detail and cull poor performing cows.

John Dunne Animal Performance 3

While the report highlights the best performing cows it also identifies the worst performing ones-which is more important eg

The majority of the bottom females are heifers and they would need to have a big improvement in performance in 2024 or John will have to consider culling them.

 Picture 1: John was busy weighing stock in October


John sampled the second cut silage in October was very happy with the results;

The silage hits all of the parameters required for a good quality silage ie

  • Dry matter 24%
  • Ph 4.61
  • 80%
  • Crude Protein 15.35%
  • ME 10.96

John will target this silage to animals that will be finished in spring.


The grazing season came in an end in October which is unusual for a farm in the midlands. The majority of the land close to the river is flooded . John housed the cows and in calf heifers in mid October.

The suckler bred weanlings are been gradually weaned and they have access to grass in fields adjoining the slatted shed. They are locked out by day . They will be fully weaned by the of October when they are fully vaccinated.

The dairy x beef calves have 30 acres to graze and they will then be moved onto the fodder rape and silage. John has increased the meal feeding to 2kgs/day.

Picture 2: The suckler bred weanlings are grazing fields adjacent to the shed 

Picture 3: Fodder rape kept for the dairyxbeef calves 

Picture 4: Cattle are housed for one month earlier than normal