Weaning of the mid-season flock of 250 ewes has commenced on Tullamore Farm, as grass supplies have dictated an earlier weaning date.

Farm manager Shaun Diver explained: "I would like to have left the lambs with the ewes for another week or 10 days, but growth has been down with the cold weather and we need to prioritise the best grass to sustain weight gain in the lambs.’’

As such, lamb performance has been excellent considering weather conditions and tight grass supplies, with lambs being weaned at an average weight of 37kg with an average daily gain of 310g/day from birth.

Lambs were treated with a pink drench (fenbendazole) two weeks ago to ensure a low worm burden at weaning time.

The second draft of lambs for slaughter has also taken place, with 23 lambs weighing between 45kg and 50kg liveweight earmarked for slaughter next week after the three-week withdrawal period on the wormer expires.

These lambs have been left with their ewes to prevent any upset and loss of bodyweight post-weaning.

Tight grass supplies

Alongside the early weaning of lambs, Shaun has been buffer feeding one group of 40 cows and calves with silage in a feed trailer. While these cows still have grass in front of them, Shaun is aiming to slow down the rotation amid the lacklustre growth.

"We have enough rain now and nitrogen spread to drive a nice bit of growth, but heat is the issue. There is a good share of the farm that requires topping to correct sward quality, but I’m too afraid of knocking back recovery too much," stated Shaun.

An additional 40 acres of ground received 29:0:14 at bag/acre on Friday, with the hope being that soil temperatures will rise in the coming days.

Breeding finishes

Breeding of the beef herd has concluded on Tullamore Farm for 2024, with the final straw being used on Friday 5 July, with just over 10 weeks of a breeding season.

The final five cows to be served were synchronised, with three cows being late calvers and the remaining two being non-cyclers.

To date, 50% of the cows have been scanned as being in-calf, with a final scan to be conducted in a month's time.

No stock bull was run with the herd this year for the first time ever on farm due to the use of the heat detection collars purchased earlier in the year.