Our Organisation Search
Quick Links
Toggle: Topics

Shane Keaveney March/April 2024



  • Reducing the age of slaughter – the bulls are 3 weeks ahead of 2023
  • Calving is all wrapped up
  • 20 purchased calves are on once a day feeding now


  • An additional plot of Red clover is sown
  • AFC of 864kg/DM/ha
  • The first crop of red clover will be harvested in the first week of May
  • Ground conditions are not perfect- 6 cows and calves are still in the shed


  • The bull is let out on April 30th
  • 10 mature cows will be synchronised for AI
  • The simmental bull LYNX is picked for replacements


Shane weighed the bulls on April 30th . In the previous month their average daily gains dipped slightly and were not what Shane would have liked. This was due to a virus hitting the shed . Thankfully, there has been a great recovery. As the cows have now gone to grass, Shane has moved the bulls from the straw bedded shed to the slatted shed. This has cut down on a lot of labour.

The bulls are now on an ad lib diet eating 11kgs of meal/day. After the weighing on April 30th, he plans to start drafting for slaughter in the first week of May. The bulls are three weeks ahead of last year ie. in 2023 the bulls weighed 624kgs on May 24th while on April 30th this year the bulls averaged 625kgs. This is a positive message in terms of reducing the age of slaughter and also reducing the overall meal bill.

Photo; Bulls have gained 1.55kgs/day since last weighing and are on average 625kgs.

Photo: Bulls on April 29th, 2024

Calving 2024

All cows have calved now and overall Shane is very happy how it went. The most stressful aspect was the delay in getting cows and calves out to grass due to the poor weather. Shane introduced 1.5kgs of meal /day so that the cows would not lose too much body condition in advance of the breeding season.

On the 30th April, there are six cows and calves still indoors. Ground conditions are not ideal so Shane is hoping to get them out as soon as possible. 10 cows have been out since last February and there are in ideal body condition.

Photo: The 2024 calving period lasted just 9 weeks.

Photo: Calving is over, priority to get cows on a rising plan of nutrition in advance of breeding. 

Purchased calves

This year Shane increased his dairy x purchases to 20. This is a way of increasing output from the farm without increasing cow numbers. He purchased mainly Angus x and the plan is have them slaughtered off grass before the second winter.

 Photo: Calves are eating 1kg+ of meal and now been fed milk once/day



Shane took a grass measurement in the last week of April.

The wedge outlines that there is plenty of grass on the farm with an AFC of 834kgs/ha and with 30 days ahead of grass. With current ground conditions it is very difficult to get the paddocks grazed out to 4cm. Shane has no choice other than move on before any major damage. Some paddocks that were reseeded last year have heavy covers due to the late turnout. Shane is strip grazing these paddocks .

All the grazing ground has got either slurry and 33 units of Protected urea + S but Shane is finding recovery slow . The weather at the end of April has been cool.

20 acres of silage ground is closed and will be cut in the third week of May. This should yield quality silage which is will be needed for the priority stock. There are only 34 bales left compared to 90 the previous year. The priority is to re-build silage reserves. After the first cut, slurry will be applied with 65 units of Nitrogen and closed again. Shane is also hoping to get bales from paddocks that will go too strong for grazing.

The red clover silage will be cut in the first week of May. Shane sowed an additional ha of red clover in April. After cutting 2500 gals of slurry will be applied immediately.


Photo; New red clover paddock sowed on  April 24th

Photo Red clover sown in 2023 – Shane will cut it in early May



The plan this year is to synchronise 10 cows and use the Simmental bull Lynx. This group are out on grass beside the yard and crush. The PRIDs went in on April 30th. Shane is hoping for a 60% conception rate and will try and keep the cows around the yard for any repeats. Shane picked LYNX for his milk trait at 9.3kgs.


Photo; The CH stock bull was let out to the remaining cows on April 30th.