Irish Examiner - Farming - - BEEF SECTOR -

Clean water troughs

Clean out water troughs reg­u­larly. If cat­tle don’t drink, they don’t eat and as a re­sult don’t per­form. By reg­u­larly I mean at least weekly.

New calves

Get calves off to the best pos­si­ble start with a good sup­ply of colostrum. Lazy drinkers should be stom­ach tubed if nec­es­sary, within the first­six hours.

If you have vac­ci­nated cows, the full ben­e­fit will not be trans­ferred to calves un­less suf­fi­cient colostrum is con­sumed.

Don’t stock pens too heav­ily, to avoid bul­ly­ing of fresh cows and in­jury to calves

Young stock

Make sure you grow young stock as well as pos­si­ble; gain­ing weight on these young an­i­mals is much cheaper than on older ones. Many silages, par­tic­u­larly first cuts from last year, are low in pro­tein.

Low pro­tein di­ets for young stock will pre­vent good in­takes, and cat­tle will not grow on a low-pro­tein diet.


Cat­tle that com­menced fin­ish­ing in early Oc­to­ber should now be close to fin­ish. Stock housed in No­vem­ber may now ben­e­fit from an in­crease in en­er­gyin their diet, to get the fi­nal fin­ish over the next month.

Is your fin­ish­ing sys­tem the one which will give you the best re­turns?

It may be time to re­assess your sys­tem — steers ver­sus bulls ver­sus heifers?

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