Shane Keaveny September/October update
- Grazing Heavy covers in September
- Recent wet weather causes alternative action
- Weanling weights on target
- Weaning Nose Pads- Success or Failure ?
- IBR & RSP vaccinations
- Excellent scanning results
At the beginning of September grass growth rates averaged 44kgs/DM/ha and with demand at 30kgs/DM/ha there was 30 days ahead of grazing. The dry weather in September suited the heavy nature of the farm and cows were grazing out to 4 cm easily. The weanlings were forward creep grazed with the cows mopping up or cleaning out the paddocks afterwards. The whole paddock was grazed in 3 days. A great position to be in. As seen from the pic clover some of the paddocks are dominated by clover so it will be vital to get these covers grazed off for the winter. It is important the light can penetrate into the clover base over the winter period.
While there was perfect conditions for grazing in September , the heavy rainfall at the end of the first week in October has caused ground conditions to rapidly deteriorate. There is a lot of grass on the farm with the average farm cover of over 900kgs/DM/Ha. The challenge is to get this grass grazed without poaching. The weanlings bulls are priority stock and with the current spell of unsettled weather the decision has been taken to house this group of stock. Young bulls don’t perform cold wet weather. The cows will be divided into 3 groups with one group of 10 housed on slats and the remaining 2 groups split for further grazing. The wetter sections of the farm were grazed during the dry spell in September. The weanling heifers will also remain on grass. Every week at grass will reduce the silage required with the target of Nov 1st for housing the remainder of the cows.
The 2022 weanlings were weighed in mid -September . See results below.
Overall the performance has been very good with no meal been used prior to weighing and on average all weanlings are on target weight.
In previous years both cows and calves were housed and left in the shed for a few days in order to wean- this was a stressful event for all. This year nose pads were purchased for the weanlings.
It meant no housing at all. The calves were with their mother but were unable to suckle . The pads were left on for 5 days -then removed and the calves were separated from the cows. There was little or no bawling from the cows or calves and it was stress free for all. The weanlings are on 1-2 kgs of meal/head/day.
The weanlings have been fully vaccinated with Bovilis Bovipast RSP. The first shot was given in early September – 5ml subcutaneous injection. A second booster shot was given 4 weeks after the first one. The weanlings were also vaccinated for IBR. The total cost will be approx. €15/head but this precaution will help eliminate/reduce the incidence of pneumonia at housing.
Faecal samples highlighted a low level of lungworm and the weanlings have been treated with a Topimec Super injection. This is a broad spectrum anti parasitic at a dosage rate of 1ml/50kgs of bodyweight.
Scanning took place on the 27th of September and the results are excellent . There are 34 cows in calf plus 10 heifers. As there is surplus females in calf- 5 of the in calf heifers will be sold. The bull was removed on July 15th and the results show a 8 week calving period for 2023 starting in the first week of February.