Our Organisation Search
Quick Links
Toggle: Topics

Wesley Browne September/October 2023



  • Wesley weighs weanling bulls in October – the 2023 weanlings are 20kgs lighter than the 2022 crop.
  • Weanlings dosed and clipped
  • Using the Weaning Performance report


Due to the persistent wet weather Wesley housed both cows and weanlings  3 to 4 weeks earlier than normal in the first week of October. Like most farms, 2023 was a difficult year and Wesley felt that the weanlings would perform better indoors than grazing very wet grass. A couple of weeks after housing he weighed the bulls to find out how they performed from birth.

The bulls averaged 293 kgs on the 26th of October which is an average daily gain of 1.12 kgs from birth. The 2022 born bulls were weighed at the same time last year and they were 20kgs heavier on average. Wesley is hoping for some compensatory growth and will weigh the bulls again at the end of November. Wesley has found that it has taken a couple of weeks for the weanlings to settle inside. They were all vaccinated and dosed for lung and stomach worms as there was incidences of coughing. He also like to clip the cattle to help control lice and also keeps them cleaner.

The weanlings are now on top quality silage and 2 kgs/head/day. The bulls will be built on to 5-6kgs in November.

Picture 1 : The 2023 heifer weanlings 

The ICBF weaning performance  report will present the efficiency of each cow as a percentage of their bodyweight which they weaned. The aim is to produce lighter mature cows that can wean a calf equal to or greater than their heavier counterparts. The target here for suckler farms is that the cow rears a calf that is at least 42% of her own weight. The ICBF report for Wesley highlights an average efficiency of 42% (average calf weight (270kg) divided by the average cow weight (660kgs) x 100 = 42%. Wesley’s  herd is just on target here. The report also shows the average cows weight at 660kgs. Wesley does not want a big heavy cow over 700kgs!

The report can be very useful to identify the best and more importantly, the worst cows in the herd. Wesley can easily see the top performing  cows in the herd. These cows are rearing calves above the target weights. Wesley could try and breed replacements off these cows. 

The report also shows the poor performing cows that reared a calf below the target weights. 7 of this group are first calvers and it might take another year before these young cows produce more milk etc. There is however 2 mature cows (both 2 star) that are producing a light calf -  these could be identified for culling.