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Clonakilty Agricultural College Drystock Unit Farm Update - September 2021

David Hallisey, College Lecturer at Teagasc Clonakilty Agricultural College gives an update from the drystock unit for August & September. After 8 weeks breeding 85% of the suckler herd were scanned in-calf. David discusses cattle weighings & meal feeding, drafing store lambs & grassland management

Sucklers and Beef Cattle

Suckler cows were scanned at the beginning of August and there was an 85% in-calf rate after 8 weeks of breeding.

As part of BEEP-S requirements cows and calves were weighed on 29th July. Calves performed at 1.1kg ADG/day. Average cow weight was 680kgs.

In August, 12 forward yearlings were selected for meal feeding at grass and fed 3kgs meal/head/day. The first 6 were finished on 20th September.

11 forward stores were selected for meal feeding in September and are due to be finished before housing. All store cattle were weighed  on 7th september and gained an average 0.7kgs ADG over the summer period.

Sheep Enterprise

95% of lambs have been drafted by september with an average carcase weight of 20 kg. 18 hoggett ewes (mule x, suffolk x and texel x ewes) were purchased in August and quarantined for 4 weeks prior to breeding. A new pedigree texel ram was also purchased for breeding at the Sheep Ireland Ram Sale. The ram is 5 stars for terminal and replacement index.

Flushing of ewes began on 31st August, sponging took place on 14th September. Rams will be introduced to the ewes at the end of september.


Second cut silage (10.7 ha) was harvested on 9th August. There was a small grass shortage at end of july due to lack of rain which required yearling cattle to be supplemented with silage for 10 days.

Grass quality was excellent all summer as dry ewes cleaned out paddocks in summer after the other groups.

The latest Grass walk on 20th Sept saw a 64kgs DM/ha growth rate, a demand of 33 kgs DM/ha and Average farm cover of 984kgs DM /ha. There was 30 days grass ahead of the animals on that date. The plan for late September is to build grass to extend the autumn grazing

Find out more about the farms at Clonakilty Agricultural College here