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Proinnsias Creedon September/October Update

Setting sheds up for the winter

Setting sheds up for the winter

  • Measure up the lying space for cattle before housing to avoid losing out on weight gain over winter
  • Calculate the feed space available for your cattle, store cattle will require 0.6m/head/day
  • Check the air inlets and outlets in your shed to make sure there is enough space for letting air in and out to prevent disease outbreaks over winter
Following autumn targets

Following autumn targets

  • Continue to record graze dates of paddocks on PBI
  • Aim to have 60% of your farm closed by early to mid-November
  • Use the autumn rotation planner on PBI to check closing progress on your farm
Finishing cattle

Finishing cattle

  • Cattle finished off grass this autumn
  • Watch dates for cattle so that they don’t go over age
  • Pick out forward stores that are suitable for finishing out of the shed this winter

Animal Health

The calves are visually recovering well since the last visit and will be vaccinated for IBR on Sat.

The pen areas were calculated for the old slatted shed and they measure 4.6m x 4.6m in 3 pens and 4.6m x 4.88m in 1 pen. The yearlings will be housed there and will require 2.2m2, which means that there will be space for 9 cattle in the smaller pens and 10 cattle in the bigger pen. Proinnsias has the option to feed cattle on two sides of the shed and because of this there is sufficient feeding space for 15-16 cattle at 0.6m/head but lying space is the limiting factor. Work in Teagasc, Grange and across the world has shown a 20kg difference in carcass weight of 650 – 700kg for steers housed from 2 – 3m2 so lying space is very important.

Good ventilation happens when enough clean air moves through the shed to remove gasses, odours, dust and bacteria. It should also remove the moisture and heat generated by the animals. To be effective it needs to work on calm days. Fresh air is actually a disinfectant, if a virus is coughed up in a building, it will last for 20 hours. However, if the same virus is coughed up outside in fresh air, it will last for about 20 minutes. Air actually deactivates the virus, so we need to make the maximum use of fresh air in sheds. The ‘stack effect’ is a ventilation method and is driven by the heat produced by the animals and by the roof slope. The animals produce heat and warm the air. The warm air rises following the slope of the roof, escaping through the outlet (highest point of the house) and is replaced by clean fresh air via the inlet.

The ventilation inlets and outlets were calculated for the slatted shed which is computed based on the average animal weight, the number of animals to be housed, the total shed floor area and two charts (to get the ventilation outlet area and the height factor). The air inlets should be double the air outlets. There was more than enough of an air outlet in the shed (area above the feed barrier) but the air inlet through the slits in the side sheeting was a lot less than required at 0.166m2, whereas 3.68m2 is required. However this can be easily fixed by doing one of three options:

  1. Push out the bottom of the side sheeting by 20cm
  2. Increase the existing slits to 35cm wide (risk of draughts and rain entering as they are on the side of the prevailing wind)
  3. Replace the existing sheeting with a gale breaker

Steady progress has been made on building the new slatted shed with the tank now in place. It will be allowed to set for a few weeks before being backfilled so Proinnsias hopes to have it ready for housing cattle around late December which will be a huge help to him.


Proinnsias has a heavy farm and takes this into account when planning his autumn grazing. The target is to have 60% of the farm closed before the end of October and graze the remainder before housing in mid-November, weather permitting. As of 21st October he was on par with having the target 45% grazed, and he had 47% of the farm grazed.

This can be easily tracked on PastureBase Ireland by setting up the autumn rotation planner, entering the target dates and then entering the graze dates of fields as cattle finish in them.


The 2022 calves (44) were weighed on 17th September and averaged 153kg, having gained 0.7kg/day since 26th July.

15 of the 2021 heifers were weighed on 24th September and averaged 397kg, having gained 0.64 kg/day since 15th August.

The finishing heifers (13) were weighed on 2nd October and averaged 516kg, having gained 0.6 kg/day since 27th June. 7 cattle are going to be 30 months in December and will have to be slaughtered before then. 3 of these are currently fit.

Stock GroupNo. CattleWeighing Date

Average Weight


ADG Since Last Weighing
2022 Calves 44 17/09/2022 153

0.7 kg/day

(Since 26/07/22)

2021 Yearlings 15 24/09/2022 397

0.64 kg/day

(Since 15/08/2022)

2020 Finishing Cattle 13 02/10/2022 516

0.6 kg/day

(Since 27/06/22)

For the 2021 cattle Proinnsias will soon decide which ones will be finished over the winter period to qualify for the factory bonus and has set the following targets;

  • 450kg on 1st Feed >70% DMD silage and balance with ration for 60 days and aim for >0.85kg ADG/day.
  • 500kg on 1st Feed 4kg ration and >70% DMD silage for 90 days, aiming for >0.8 kg ADG/day.
  • Target: 570kg at slaughter in April.

10 heifers were slaughtered from early September to early October. They had an average carcass weight of 303kg at 28.6 months of age and graded R-3-. They made an average price of €1496/head.