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The performance of Newford farm in 2021 and top tips at calving

As calving season approaches on the Newford farm, Farm technician Michael Fagan gives an insight into the preparation in advance of calving and a review of performance of the herd in Athenry where there are 76 cows and 17 heifers due to calve from the start of February for 10 weeks.

The cows are all in-calf to 5 star terminal bulls.

Michael explains that cows are currently on ad-lib silage 66-68 DMD. However, heavy cows with good conditional score are having their silage restricted. 100g of a pre-calving mineral is given on top of the silage each day since the 1st of December 2021.

All cows have been treated for fluke and lice. Lime is spread on the slats each day on the slats, which helps to control any bugs and it also helps to keep the cows’ udder and teats clean. Micheal describes the vaccination programme pre calving also, and talks through the steps taken when cows and heifers are calving.

Newford yearling heifers were housed on the 7th December due to the good autumn.  On Thursday 20th January they were let back to grass. They were turned out at 411 kg and they achieved an average daily gain from birth of 1.12 Kg/head/day. The aim is for a live weight of 555 Kgs at a 52 % kill out. The male weanlings were housed on the 18th November and on the 6th of January were 396 kg and they achieved average daily gain since housing of 0.67 kg/head/day.

Michael describes how last year there were 38 steers of which 9 were finished off grass with concentrates. The rest were finished indoors. They graded R= 3 – with an average live carcass weight of 357 Kg at 21 months of age. There were 56 heifers of which 38 were finished off grass with concentrates. The rest were finished indoors.  They graded R= 3 – with an average carcass weight of 311 Kg at 20 months.

For more episodes and information covered on the Beef Edge, visit the show page at: www.teagasc.ie/thebeefedge 

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