Name: Jamie Hayes
Enterprise: Suckler cows and finishing all progeny on-farm
- Suckler cows: 38;
- Calves: 14;
- Maiden heifers: 9;
- Yearlings: 58;
- 24 months: 32;
- Stock bulls: 2.
Calving so far is going well, with thirteen cows calved and 14 calves on the ground; all the AI-bred calves have been born and the remaining calves will be sired by our own stock bull.
We decided to change our system; cows are left with their calves for two-hours in the morning and two hours in the evening which allows us to reduce the amount of straw required and to get the cows back in-calf easier by breaking the bond between the dam and her calf. So far, this is going very well and there has been very little straw used this year to date.
The cows are receiving 2 kgs of nuts per day to maintain milk production and to main body conditions. All animals have been housed until the weather and soil conditions improve. Once good enough to graze, we will let the cows out by day and hopefully, we will get some of the yearling cattle out full-time.
We are fattening twenty-one 24-month-old heifers at present; they are receiving 4 kgs of a 14% finishing nut. They aren’t being intensely fattened as we are hoping there will be an improvement in price around the end-of-March/beginning of April when a lot of cattle will be going to grass around the country. Again, this all depends on what will happen with Brexit.
Last weekend, we purchased a Charolais stock bull – A Fiston son that that will be introduced to the pastures around St. Patrick’s Day.
Name: Michael Danagher
Location: Errill, Co. Laois
Enterprise: Pedigree Charolais herd with a number of commercial breeding females with 60% Shorthorn blood and some Charolais and Belgian-Blue influence. 60% of progeny finished on-farm.
This week, we are getting all our stock sorted for our upcoming herd test. We have replacement ear tags ordered and will get everything tagged by the weekend.
We had two calves so far this week - A Hereford heifer born to a first-calving Aberdeen-Angus heifer and an Aberdeen-Angus heifer born to a second-calver.
We are replacing all our old water troughs with new concrete troughs and will be removing all of our old ones this week and putting down solid concrete bases for the new troughs.We have ordered fertiliser, so we will be getting our fertiliser spreader ready to go for the 2019 season.
We are dosing our youngest heifers – weighing 270-280kg - and letting them off to grass. Once it's grazed, we will put out fertilizer, roll it and earmark it for silage.
Our bull shed is being cleaned out at the weekend and the dung will be drawn away to the field depending on the weather. If not, it will be stored until conditions improve.