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An update from the Tipperary Dairy Calf to Beef Demonstration Farm

It has been a busy few weeks on the Tipperary Dairy Calf to Beef Demonstration Farm, writes Chloe Millar who updates us on infrastructure improvements, calf rearing, animal performance and grassland management.

The main roadway on farm got a well needed upgrade during the dry spell. A new surface was laid and the tapering and gradients of the roadway were corrected in an effort to divert water off the road away from waterways.

resurfacing a roadway on the Tipperary Calf to Beef Demo farm


Grazing has been very challenging this spring, just like the rest of the country. We finished our first rotation on April 26. Ground condition are still poor in parts.

difficult grazing conditions at Tipp Calf to beef demo farm

On April 22, we cut 10ha of un-grazed and unfertilised ground for bale silage. This ground was gone too strong for grazing and yielded 83 bales. We have 40ha of ground closed for silage, which was grazed and received 220kg/ha of 29-0-14 + S. We plan to cut this on May 20. Additionally, on April 22, we managed to sow the spring barley, of which 11ha has been sown on farm this year.

2023-born cattle

We currently have 309 yearling cattle on farm. Nine heifers were sold to Newford Farm as breeding stock. These animals are full time at grass since April 10. However, 100 steers were housed for two days on May 4 due to heavy rain - 18mm of rain fell overnight on farm.  The latest weight of the 2023-born animals are available in table 1 below.

Table 1: Weighing performance of cattle on the Tipperary Dairy Calf to Beef Demonstration Farm on May 1

GroupWeightAverage daily gain over 100 days
Heifers 316kg 0.67kg/day
Steers 332kg 0.63kg/day

2024-born calves

We reached full capacity of calves on April 17. We took 335 calves from eight of our source farmers. We are delighted with the quality of the calves we took in; they are a credit to our source farmers. To date all 335 calves are alive and healthy.

2024 born calves at grass at the Tipp Calf to Beef demon farm

Of the 335 calves, 192 are weaned and are out at grass. These are getting 1kg/head/day of concentrate (17% protein calf cube) at grass and have access to straw. The average weaning weight was 81kg at 71 days of age.

2022-born cattle

We have slaughtered all the 2022-born animals - 123 steers and 112 heifers. Table 2 below is a breakdown of the results.

Table 2: Performance of 2022-born cattle on the Tipperary Dairy Calf to Beef Demonstration Farm

Column 1SteersHeifers
Number 123 112
Liveweight 573kg 508kg
Carcass weight 290kg 251kg
Age at slaughter 21.3 months 20.6 months
Average conformation grade O= O=
Average fat cover 3- 3=
Average kill out percentage 50% 49%
Average price per kg €5.15 €5.23
Meal at grass prior to housing 100kg 128kg
Total meal at finishing 424kg 375kg

More from the Tipperary Dairy Calf to Beef Demonstration Farm

The Tipperary Dairy Calf to Beef Demonstration Farm will host its first open day on July 10 at 11am. Save the date. Additionally, you can follow along with the day-to-day happenings on the farm by following us on Instagram and X (formerly Twitter) - @Tipp_DemoFarm and on Facebook – Tipperary Dairy Calf to Beef Demonstration Farm.

More information on the Tipperary Dairy Calf to Beef Demonstration Farm is available here.