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Shane Keaveny July/August update

Animal Health

As part of the Future Beef programme – 2 faecal samples were taken from the weanlings and store heifers in early August. While there was no evidence of coughing , the samples showed an incidence of lungworm. So this was treated with paramectin. In advance of weaning, the weanlings will be vaccinated with Bovipast and the first shot was given in August. The booster will be given 4-6 weeks later in the first week of September. So the weanlings will be fully vaccinated for pneumonia prior to weaning and they will also be covered at housing time-both stressful events for a young weanlings

Animal Nutrition

The weanlings are allowed to forward graze ahead of the cows. This has a number of advantages;

  • Weanlings get priority access to fresh pasture which will help increase liveweight gain from grass. At this time of year the cows supply from milk drops and the calves become more dependant on grass
  • It allows a more controlled way of feeding meal in troughs vs a creep feeder. All the weanlings get meal. Generally when using a creep feeder only the strong ones will access the feeder and consume the meal. The lighter weanlings than need the meal won’t get access when using a creep feeder.
  • Forward creep grazing helps breaks the social bond with their mothers- this will help at weaning
  • The cows can be ‘forced’ to clean out the paddock-while the weanling has access to the next paddockShane Keaveney grazing July/August 2022

Shane uses 2 tall horse stakes to lift the electric wire that allows the weanlings to move forward while keeping the cows in the existing paddock (see pic)


The dry summer suits this farm. Ground conditions are excellent and growth rates averaged 40kgs/DM/ha/day over the two months. Demand averaged 33 kgs/DM/ha/day and there is currently 21 days of grass ahead. In the last days of July the grazing paddocks got a round of 20units of Protected urea/acre. The second cut silage was made at the end of July with 150 bales made. These bales were transported back to the yard using a contractor at a cost of €3/bale.


All of the bulls have been slaughtered now. They are summarised as follows;

Age at slaughter 15.7 months
Carcase weight 370kgs
Grade R+3-
Price €5.34
Av value €1976

There are 10 store heifers that will be finished at the end of the year at 20-22months of age. They are currently weighing an average of 460kgs and getting 1.5kgs of meal/head/day