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Michael & Niall Biggins July/August update


On the 3rd of July both the heifer and bull weanlings were weighed. The 28 males averaged 186kgs while the heifers averaged 174kgs. This represented am ADG of 1.13kgs and 1.03kgs since birth. The bulls and heifers have been separated since July 3rd and meal was introduced in early August to help improve performance. 1-2 kgs of meal will be offered. To reduce the meal bill while driving performance the weanlings are encouraged to forward creep graze ahead of the cows. A standard creep feeder is placed in the same field as the cows and calves in order to get the calves eating some ration. After 3-5 days the creep feeder is placed into an adjacent paddock and the weanlings must access the feeder through a creep gate which stops the cows. (see pic). Once the calves have become acclimatised to meal- troughs will be used instead of the creep feeder. This allows a more controlled way of feeding ration and ensures all the weanlings gets the ration. The ration is currently costing 42cent/kg. The lighter heifers will be separted and offered an addiotional 1kg of meal/head/day.

5 out of the 10 cows identified for bulling were sold in July. The 5 cows were loaded into the trailer leaving their reared calves with the remaining 5 cows and 5 calves. There was no stress or bawling and the cows averaged €1840 at the mart.

Animal Health

As part of the Future beef programme , 2 faecal samples were taken from the priority group ie weanlings and while there was no evidence of coughing , the results came back positive for lungworm. The weanlings were dosed accordingly. Also, the first shot of Bovilis Bovipast RSP was given in early August and the booster will be given 4-6 weeks later. The plan is to have the weanlings fully vaccinated before weaning.


In July, growth rates averaged 44kgs/DM/ha/day and with demand at 33kgs/DM/day there was 18days ahead. To start building grass reserves 3 ton of Protected Urea was applied at 18units/acre in the first week of august . As a result grass growth as bounced to 65kgs/ha/day giving 27 days of grass ahead at the end of August. Luckily, the west has got some rainfall compared to the remainder of the country and with the high temperatures grass growth has increased .