Name: Aran Connell
Location: Mizen Head, West Cork.
Enterprise: Dairy farm - milking 140 Holstein Friesians in partnership with his father.
Cow performance: 30-litres at 4.20% Butterfat and 3.455% Protein – SCC: 99
Promising weather conditions allowed us to make our way through our to-do list this week.
Grass growth has improved over the last week, which has resulted in the removal of buffer feed from the cow’s diets; I believe that this has resulted in yield dropping slightly; however, milk solids have increased. Cows are still being fed 4.5kgs of ration in the parlour.
We started the rotation last Tuesday; they are currently in covers of 1000-1100.
AI is going well, with up to five cows being served daily. Heifers are slower to come into heat – up to two per day. We will keep a close eye on the replacement over the next week to see if this improves.
We cut and baled silage this week, with a yield of eight bales/acre.
Slurry was applied after and we spread fertiliser on Wednesday, so it should be ready for silage in 5 weeks’ time; the bulk of the first cut will be taken around May 10th.
We obtained a number of loads of beet this week. We're going to ensile this along with 60-tonnes or so of Eornagold distillers, moist grains and soya hulls. We find this a great mix for feeding out to cows at the shoulders of the year.
Some more calves are weaned so must be brought out to the outside block as well.