The ratio of bulls to heifers on Newford Farm in 2022 is more than 2:1, with 59 male weanlings and 26 heifer weanlings on the farm. This excludes two bull calves which left the farm earlier in the year as TB reactors.
The 26 heifer weanlings were weighed on 7 November and recorded an average liveweight of 364kg. This equates to an average daily gain (ADG) of 1.22kg from birth and 0.76kg/day since weaning on 20 September.
Teagasc's Michael Fagan explains that the performance of the 2022-born progeny has been better than anticipated given there were also six cows removed from the herd mid-summer, also as TB reactors.
He said the performance of heifers has likely been affected in recent weeks by adverse weather, but said that heifers still appear to be content outdoors, irrespective of the challenging conditions.
He attributes the satisfactory performance to manager Stephen Friend giving heifers 24-hour grass allocations and not forcing them to graze out lower-quality material.
The 59 weanlings which were castrated before turning six months of age were weighed on 20 October. Weighing 369kg liveweight, they achieved an ADG from birth of 1.29kg and 0.89kg since weaning on 12 September.
These weanlings also remain outdoors and the aim, if weather conditions allow, is to maintain them outdoors until early December.
Both groups are receiving concentrate supplementation at a rate of 1kg/head daily.