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Newford January/February 2023 update

Animal Performance

Animal Performance

  • Calving update
  • Vaccination of calves
  • Weight targets met


  • Great conditions in early February but then the rain comes!
  • Slurry and fertiliser goes out


  • 220m of a new hedge is planted to improve biodiversity on the farm





Calving commenced 24th January with 78 cows calved to date, 74% of cows have calved unassisted and average calf birth weight is 42kgs. There has been five cases of mortality (1 abortion - post-mortem result: inconclusive), 1 still birth, 2 died during calving and a 5 day old calf died due to a twisted gut). There are currently no other health issues on the farm. 

Calves less than 10 days old are receiving RSV–Pi3 intranasal vaccine as a preventive against viral pneumonia and their initial clostridia vaccine subcutaneously. Calves will receive a coccidia drench when 30 days old as a preventative against coccidiosis.

12 cows and calves were turned out to grass on February 7th and a further 28 pairs turned out by February 16th.However, 22 cows and calves were temporarily housed for 5 days due to deteriorating ground conditions and there are currently 65 cows and calves at grass since 27th February. 

26 yearling replacement heifers were turned out to grass on the 10th February weighing 282kgs after achieving an average daily of 0.75kg/day over their first winter. These heifers are preforming exceptional well and on track to achieve their targeted bulling weight of 330kgs in April.

Table 2: Replacement heifer weights

 Housing 11/11/2210/02/23ADG 1st WinterTarget Bulling
Heifers 216kg 282kg 0.75kg 330kg


Yearling steers will be turned out once ground conditions and grass availability permit. These animals weigh 438kgs (weighed 10th February), have an average daily gain (ADG) of 0.69kg and received their clostridia vaccine in advance of turnout. 

Winter diet consisted of ab-lib 74% DMD silage and 1.5kg/head/day of 18% crude protein ration, concentrate supplementation has now ceased in advance of turnout

Table 3: Yearling steer winter performance 

 Housing 26/11/2208/02/2023ADG 1st Winter
Steers 392kg 438kg 0.69kg




Slurry was spread via umbilical trailing shoe at a rate of 1,500 gallons/acre on covers of <650Kg DM/ha and these covers will receive 20 units/acre of protected urea over the coming days.  

20 units/acre of protected urea was spread on covers <700kg DM/ha within the last fortnight as soil temperature was above 7 degrees.

Two autumn 2022 reseeds have been grazed off by yearling replacement heifers to a residual height of <4cm. By doing so, encourages tillering and allows light to reach the emerging white clover.

Table 1: Farm Cover

20/02/2023NewfordOutfarm 1Outfarm 2
Cover (KG/DM/HA)  910 626 614
Growth 9 12 6



20 metres of native hedging was planted on Newford farm, consisting of 75% whitethorn, 20% blackthorn & 5% holly trees sown at 5 plants per metre. This hedge will act as a habitat and corridor for wildlife on Newford farm and also shelter and shade for livestock.