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Newford Farm January/February Update 2024

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General Detail

  • Calving activity has been in full swing over the last month on Newford Farm
  • 49% of the Newford herd has calved within 23 days (21st February) with the first cow calving on the 29th of January
  • 45 cows out of 91 in-calf animals calved up to 21st February
    • With 42 live calves on the ground
    • There have been two cases of calf mortality and one abortion
      • One case has been attributed to stillbirth
      • One calf died during a difficulty calving
      • One cow aborted mid-January
  • We have noticed on the farm that the cows are much slower to calve down this year and carrying a few extra days before calving hence more attention has been paid at calving to each cow as calves are getting a little bigger.
    • This may be contributed to the cows  disturbed  movement from Athenry to Roscommon
  • Another key feature we have noticed on the farm is that one of the bulls selected at the breeding time, his calving difficulty information has moved from 7.5 % to 17.5%.Fortunately we did not used too many AI straws of this bull, but it is something to be aware of during calving, that bulls’ information may have changed from breeding to calving time
  • The average weight of all calves born to-date is 42 kg
  • The average calving score is 1.42

Calved cows

As the calves get older they are grouped together on a straw bedded area and have access to their mothers who are on slats through a gate opening, this system is a major saving on straw and labour for the farm



Performance of 2023 progeny

 The yearling male and females were weighed on the 12th February

  • The males average weight was 392 Kgs
  • Average daily gain from birth to the 12th February was 0.96 Kg
  • The heifers average weight was 347 Kgs
  • Average daily gain from birth to the 12th of February was 0.84 Kgs

All yearlings are on 2kg of ration along with DMD 67% ab lib silage. This silage was part of the farm when Newford Farm took out the lease.

Cattle performance

On Newford farm there are 8 hectares (20 acres) of stubble ground which will need to be reseeded in the coming weeks, this is causing a short term upset regarding grazing ground for all stock on the farm, so in the meantime the yearling bullocks and heifers will be grazing an out farm block “Cones farm” 18 hectares (47 acres).


Depending on weather in the coming days, slurry will be spread on the stubble ground at (2,500 gals/ac) and the other grazing fields will get ½ bag of Protect Urea 46%

Slurry has been spread on Cones farm @ 2,000 gals per acre at the end of January by the umbilical cord system.

  • Quotes for the 46% protected urea ranges from €510 - €530 per ton
  • The farm manager will be spreading the protected urea in the coming days, but a quote of €70 / hour by an outside contractor had been offered to spread the protected urea
  • Soil temperature this week on the farm was 10 degrees, but this will fall back again due to the cold snap coming this weekend.

Grass update

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