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Watch: Preparing for breeding on Teagasc/Tirlán Future Farms

Watch: Preparing for breeding on Teagasc/Tirlán Future Farms

Sandra Hayes, Teagasc/Tirlán Future Farm Programme Co-ordinator, visited a number of demonstration farmers recently to highlight how they are preparing for the upcoming breeding season.

David Fennelly

Sandra visited David Fennelly from near Portarlington, Co. Laois in early April. At the time of the visit, cows were out grazing. On his plan for breeding, David said: “We plan to breed the cows in the last few days of April, and the heifers on May 3 to a fixed time AI programme.”

The use of this fixed time AI programme will enable David to use sexed semen on the heifers, while two Angus stock bulls will be used to mop afterwards.

On pre-breeding checks, David said: “A week before breeding, we will scan cows that are non-cycling based on information gathered from the collars and, in the meantime, we will probably do a scanning next week of any cows that had any health issues or hard calvings or would have held cleanings during the calving season.”

For more on David’s plan for breeding, watch the video below:

Steven Fitzgerald

Like so many farms across the country, grazing conditions have been tough on Steven Fitzgerald’s farm near Aglish, Co. Waterford, but he has been getting cows to grass where possible to maximise milk protein, protect cow body condition and save on silage supplies

Prior to the start of breeding, Steven will tail paint all cows. Whichever cows don’t have the tail paint removed by breeding start date will undergo a pre-breeding scan.

Steven is focusing on protecting the body condition score of his herd and will move some of the first-lactation animals to once-a-day milking and will continue to offer concentrates to ensure cows are supplied with adequate energy to build body condition and to allow to cycling to resume.

Watch the video below for more details on Steven’s plan for breeding and how he has managed grazing so far:

Click here for more information from the Teagasc/Tirlán Future Farm Programme

Also read: 10 things to consider before breeding season starts