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Newford Notes - Week of 7th February 2022


Calving activity is in full swing at the moment on Newford Farm with over a third of cows calved by 8th February. Michael Fagan, Technician at the Suckler Demo Farm, Athenry details the sires used and shows a selection of the calves. The yearling heifers are at grass. See how they're doing and more

Calving at Newford

Calving activity is in full swing at the moment on Newford Farm.

  • The first cow calved on the 27th of January
  • 33 cows out of 93 in-calf animals have calved up to 8th February
    • With 31 live calves on the ground within 12 days (35 % of the herd)
    • There has been three cases of calf mortality with the cause attributed to stillbirths
  • There has been no calving difficulty to report thus far
  • Average weight of all calves born at the moment is 38 kg
  • Calving score to-date is detailed below;

 

Selection of calves on Newford farm

Newford Farm is using the “No Feeding of Silage Rule” during the day. It works as follows;

  • Cows are restricted access to silage from 8am to 4.30pm daily
  • The cows have access to straw only during this time period
  • Newford has found this method very successful and it has contributed to more efficient time management and reducing labour requirements during the night
  • Out of the 37 cows calved at the moment 11 cows or 30 % of the herd have calved between 1am and 6am in the morning 

 

 Cows have access to straw only by day           Electric wire in place to keep cows back from silage by day

Yearling heifers update

  • Newford yearling heifers went to grass on the 20th of January 2022 weighing 411 Kg
  • They were housed for 45 days over the winter period ( housed on 7th December )
  • Each heifer consumed 90 kg of concentrates costing €31 per heifer over the winter period
  • On average each heifer gained 32 kg liveweight or 0.72 kg per day over the 45 days ( offered 75% DMD pit silage and 2kg concentrates)
  • Newford’s plan for these heifers is now to finish them off grass at 16 to 17 months of age aiming for an average drafting liveweight of 550 kg in early summer. The farm hopes to capitalise on seasonally stronger market returns compared to later in the year

  • At turnout the 40 heifers were grazing an average of one acre per day and moved on every day to fresh grazing to prevent paddock poaching

Grass walk

  • Cones farm received 1.5t of lime per acre in late January
  • Protected urea has been ordered and the first fertiliser of 2022 will be spread in the coming days at a rate of 17 kg per acre

* Cover carried out on the 7th February

 2021 Newford Farm performance review

More information on the Newford Herd can be found here