On Tuesday 11 October, the 150 spring 2022-born stock were brought in for weighing to assess performance over the last few months as well as some routine tasks needing to be carried out.

All calves were dosed for lungworm as there had been some coughing in the different stock groups.

This was only the second dose of the year with the dry conditions throughout most of the grazing season seeming to have an effect on worm burdens at pasture.

They were also due their second shot of their RSV and Pi3 pneumonia vaccination and their single dose of an IBR vaccination.

Late housing

This is all in preparation for housing in the coming weeks, although given the amount of grass on the farm, housing could be quite late this year, if ground conditions allow.

The average farm cover has increased to over 1,200kgDM/ha, the highest of the year. Good grass growth rates over the last few weeks combined with the fact that the finishing cattle were housed in September due to grass shortages means the demand for grass on the farm at the moment is quite low.

At this stage around 25% of the farm has been closed and now, farmer John Hally is concentrating on grazing some of the paddocks closest to the yard so that they can be targeted for on/off grazing in early spring with some of the lightest yearlings.

On paddocks with high clover, the plan is to graze these later into autumn as we do not want to carry a heavy cover over winter on these paddocks as doing so could shade out the clover plant and reduce its persistence for next year.

There is a huge amount of grass on farm at the moment thanks to good growth rates in recent weeks and the fact that demand is quite low with the finishing stock housed.


The heifer calves are averaging 218kg this week while the bullocks are 226kg. Looking at our Thrive 20-month blueprint, they are just sitting on the target line at the moment.

We need to monitor performance over the next few weeks at grass as it is likely liveweight gains will decrease now that grass dry matter is lower and fibre levels are also quite low which speeds up the passage rate of grass through the animal.

Feeding a kilo of meal at pasture continues and has been aiding performance as average daily gains since early August have been 0.93kg/day for the heifers and 1.1kg/day for the bullocks.

Ideally heifers would be 240kg and bullocks 260kg at the target housing date of 10 November although if weather conditions allow stock will be out for longer than this.

The average birth date of the calves this year is 26 February so the farm is operating with an early-born calf. For farmers working with later spring-born calves you can take 5kg/week off the target housing weight for every week they are born after 1 March.