Lull in calving season brings plenty of clean up time in the pens
felt a good bed of straw was a benefit to a cow for grip when she was getting up.
If I was gaining this way, I was losing it in the way some of the later calves were taking a scour at a young age.
Most of the Friesian bull calves have been sold, thanks to DoneDeal. The shipping of calves is slow this year and I do hope it takes off. Discussion must take place soon between factories, beef farmers and dairy farmers to see what type of animal is required for the beef markets.
Maybe the Friesian will get more popular as I have heard some beef farmers thinking of rearing Friesian bullocks instead of the more intense bull beef breeds.
Another debating topic is the high cost of rearing replacement dairy stock. I would be questioning whether it is more practical to buy them? I, along with so many dairy farmers, will be purchasing AI straws in the coming weeks. Thought and guidance is needed now.
The milking cows are currently giving 22 litres, 3.87pc butterfat, 3.18pc protein, TBC 8000, SCC 162. They are being fed 40kgs silage, 12kgs fodder beet, half kilo straw and a HI UFL 20pc dairy ration in the parlour.
Cows at 30l are getting 8kgs, with cows giving 18 litres getting 2kgs of ration.
The weanling heifers are also getting this dairy ration to a maximum of 2kgs for the lighter weight ones. These heifers got their first lepto vaccine shot two weeks ago. In another two weeks they will get their second shot, along with their first BVD shot. Foot bathing for mortellaro will be done on all cows very shortly.
A student from Ballyhaise College began his 12-week work placement with me last week. Having him on the farm makes me focus a bit more on the topics they are covering on the course.
One of these is grass measuring, so this week I will take the first grass cover for 2014.
Last week the discussion group had a talk with a local psychologist Shane Martin. His presentation was entitled ‘Harnessing strengths during challenging times’. His presentation was thought provoking and I would recommend everybody to look at his website www.moodwatchers.com.
One of the many lessons I took from it was always count our blessings, look at what is right about our lives, celebrate all the things we have rather than always talking about the things we don’t have.
He spoke about depression and saw huge benefits to farmers when they meet in discussion groups as it brings them from solitude to the social.
One other point he made was that we should never underestimate ourselves in our capabilities and what better way to do this than by entering the Zurich Farmer of the Year Awards 2014.
With less than three weeks to the closing date, get nominating yourself or some of the good farmers out there.