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Clonakilty Agricultural College Drystock Unit Farm Update - December 2021


David Hallissey brings us a winter update on the Drystock unit at Clonakilty Agricultural College. He has the end of grazing grass summary, ewes were scanned recently and cattle were weighed. David outlines the performance of the cattle groups and more in a short video here

Grass

We began our final Rotation on the 4th of October, and following our autumn rotation plan we had 60% of the farm Grazed by the 25th of October with 100% of the farm grazed on the 16th of November. Our Final Grasswalk of 2021 took place on the 29th of November. Average closing farm cover is 513kg/DM/Ha with a growth rate of 11 kgs/dm/ha/day.

Sheep

Rams were introduced to the ewes on the 30th of September. As a synchronised breeding program was in place, a ewe to ram ratio of 8:1 was used to ensure maximum conception rates. One Texel ram was left with the ewes to pick up on any repeat breeders. Ewes were scanned on the 14th of December with an overall litter size of 1.85 lambs per ewe. Meal feeding will commence 8 weeks pre-lambing with ewes being grouped according to litter size.

Sucklers

Suckler cows and calves were weaned on the 26th of October. Weaning took place indoors and weanlings were returned to grass once settled. Concentrates at a rate of 1kg/day was introduced 2 weeks prior to weaning.

All Weanlings were weighed on the 3rd of December.

Performance of the Suckler bred weanlings was as follows:

  • Steer weanlings averaged 308kgs
  • Heifer weanlings averaged 297kgs
  • With average liveweight gain since October being 0.7 kgs/day.

Performance of Calf to beef weanlings was:

  • Average steers weight was 271kgs
  • Heifer weights averaged = 247 kgs
  • Average liveweight gain was 0.8 kgs/day.

The current winter diet for all beef weanlings on the farm is ad-lib silage with a DMD of 68 plus 1.5kgs of concentrates per days.

Fattening cattle

Recently 11 of the fattening cattle from the calf to beef enterprise were sent the factory.

  • Average carcase weight of the heifers was 265kgs @ O- 3+,         
  • Bullocks averaged 280kgs carcase @ O- 3+.
  • 2 Suckler bred bullocks were also slaughter and averaged 345kgs carcase at R+3=.
  • These cattle averaged 20-21 months of age at slaughter.

Finishing cattle

All finishing cattle on the farm were weighed on the 3rd of December.

With average Liveweight gain of 1.2kgs/day. Current finishing diet is ad-lib silage plus 5kgs of concentrates/day.

Thanks for tuning into this Drystock update at Clonakilty Agricultural College.

Find out more about the farms at Clonakilty Agricultural College here