On farms with predominantly August and September autumn-calving cows, these animals should now be getting pre-calving minerals on a daily basis.

Minerals can be fed in various forms, all of which have merits. Which format minerals are offered will ultimately come down to what is most practical, as well as cost.

Choose a mineral with low or zero calcium and high magnesium content, as well as trace elements such as iodine, selenium, vitamin E, copper and phosphorous included.

Where cows are likely to calve outdoors in early autumn, calf vigour is crucial to get the newborn up and suckling as early as possible.

A good pre-calving mineral will improve calf vigour, help avoid some metabolic problems and reduce the risk of cows retaining the placenta.


If August-calving cows are on outfarms, move them closer to the yard inside the next fortnight for closer observation and convenience, should any cow go into labour early.

These cows should also be grazing swards with lower-quality grass to reduce the risk of big calves developing and problems during labour.

However, be careful of mixing cows from different grazing groups, as these animals will try to re-establish a new social order, increasing the chances of a cow aborting in late gestation.

Read more

Sheep mart prices: Price variation as lambs ease by €5 to €8/hd

Irish cattle price rollercoaster