Lull in calv­ing sea­son brings plenty of clean up time in the pens

Irish Independent - Farming - - Farm Management -

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.mood­watch­

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.

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