Calving preparation is in full swing on Tullamore Farm this week, with a number of the calving sheds being cleaned out and powerwashed ahead of the start of calving at the end of the month. Sheds were disinfected with Killcox disinfectant after powerwashing.

Thirty cows that are due to calve first will be moved to peat bedding at the weekend. Housing on peat prior to calving means the cows will dry up a little and it's also a little more comfortable for cows to lie on as they come close to calving.

Half of a two-bay loose shed has been bedded with peat and the other half will be bedded with straw. Cows lying on the peat half of the house will still feed on slats during the day.

As cows calve, they will move over to the straw area. Any cow that needs assistance will be moved to the individual pens where a calving gate is available to service two pens.


Early-calving cows all received their scour vaccine last week. The scour vaccine that is being used on Tullamore Farm needs to be given between three and 12 weeks pre-calving, so the later-calving cows will get their shot in six weeks time.

Cows' backs and tails were clipped and cows also received a lice treatment.

Cows are being fed 120g/head/day of a pre-calving mineral. Early-calving cows are also being fed 0.5kg soya on a daily basis.

Cows were faecal sampled and results came back negative for fluke and worms, so no cow received any fluke or worm dose.

Cows were body condition scored and Shaun is happy with cow condition. Some thin cows and first-calving cows are still getting preferential treatment with the best-quality silage.

A list of cow due dates has been drawn up for ease of checking and 2020 tags are in the office ready to use. Calf jackets have been washed, supply of colostrum checked, iodine and lubrication bought and the calving jack, along with ropes, have been checked.

A new set of ropes has been purchased as a back-up. The calving area is well lit and the calving camera has been checked to make sure it's working.