With calving over now and an improvement in the weather, it is giving us a great chance to get hay and silage saved and while also getting a few other jobs around the farm done. In the last few weeks, we have focused a lot on the cows pre-breeding.
We use A.I. for the first and second round of heats, and have an Angus bull running with the cows to clean-up.
Last years, we had a Charolais bull running with the cows. He was a good easy calving bull, which threw lovely quality calves from the Dairy cows, unfortunately, we had to sell him this year because he was gone too old.
Last year, we had a lot of cows that were slow to come into heat after calving. When they were served, the majority of them repeated after 3 weeks and some repeated again for the third time. This was a complete nuisance as it spreads the calving interval way out. The Herd suffering from IBR in the past was a major contributor to this.
Last year, we had a lot of cows that were slow to come into heat after calving. When they were served, the majority of them repeated after 3 weeks and some repeated again for the third time. This was a complete nuisance as it spreads the calving interval way out. The Herd suffering from IBR in the past was probably a major contributor to this.
This year the chap that scans the cows for us, Padraig, told us to do all the cows with copper and mineral bullets. It will bring the cows into heat quicker and there will be less repeats. We tooke his advice and gave the cows the bullets in March along with vaccinating them for Lepto and IBR.
We have seen a vast improvement in the number of cows served and holding. The copper and mineral bullets have definitely worked, they were pricey enough as they work out about €6 per cow but definitely worth it. We are hoping to get the cows scanned in the next two weeks. The A.I bulls that we have used this year are:
The A.I bulls that we have used this year are:
- KKM FriesianVGO Charolais
- AA2163 Angus
- EBY Limousine
- MLJ Friesian
This year we decided to do our own silage and I was delighted to be a part of the silage crew for the first time. We hired out three trailers and got a loan of two tractors. Ciaran had a self-propelled harvester and loader so we made great use of that. We had Kevin on the harvester, Richard on the loader and Ger, Ciaran and myself drawing in.
Dad was looking after the sides of the pit and the road and Mam cooked us up a fine feast with a full Irish to give us a good start to the day ahead. We cut 35 acres of which we bought 20 acres of grass off a neighbour and got it done about 3 weeks ago. Thankfully, we got it done in a good spell of weather and got the slurry out as well.
At the moment, we are fixing up any fencing in paddocks that needed to be replaced and we cut grass on Saturday last which we hope to get some hay. We normally try to do a few hundred small square bales and round bales... So hopefully we get the weather.