Pre-weaning worming, vaccinations and/or boosters, weighing and the early stages of weaning all take place in September. It has quietly become a busy month.
It’s coming up on my 10th year weighing the cows and calves and it’s one of the more interesting jobs as you get a good indication of how the stock is performing.
The difference in what you think an animal weighs and what the scales tells you is a great leveller. I put more emphasis on the actual weaning weight.
Due to fragmentation and how convenient stock are to the yard, I have only half-weighed at the time of writing so it’s tricky to get a good handle on how things are going.
The cows have had a good year and it’s showing both in themselves and their calves
The youngest calves have thrown up the most surprises, with hybrid vigour coming to the fore in some of the younger bull calves. It’s not all rosy in the garden. There’s a share of calves that haven’t done as well as expected too but if there’s a positive to be taken from that, it’s that most of those were in the cull group anyway.
The cows have had a good year and it’s showing both in themselves and their calves. The older cows with bull calves saw some cows with calves at 50% of their body weight already and an average daily gain of 1.4kg/day among that bunch.
The bull was taken out from the late calvers over the last fortnight, so that should draw a line under the 2022 calving.
The replacement heifers and cows on the outfarm are due to be scanned on Thursday
Most of those cows were bulled early in his time with them so hopefully the calving should be finished up around the first week of May next year. Those cows will be scanned in October along with one other group that the other bull was with.
The replacement heifers and cows on the outfarm are due to be scanned on Thursday.
Hopefully, there will be better results with this bunch of heifers compared to last year’s, when only one in three of that group was in-calf.
There was a bit of luck attached as to those not going to plan as for the first time ever, all cows that went to the bull were in-calf in 2020. With cow prices poorer last autumn compared to this year it worked out well as we were able to finish those heifers instead.
I’ll wait on faecal egg count results before seeing when the calves will get a pre-weaning worm treatment
If there was a year for cows to be empty then this is it. With prices holding relatively well and a good selection of heifer calves on the ground, it’s a great opportunity to tidy up the operation a bit and speed up the genetic gain.
I’ll wait on faecal egg count results before seeing when the calves will get a pre-weaning worm treatment. Worm egg counts for calves could be an option for any future suckler scheme but if it is then I hope it won’t be in the same format as the liver fluke one for cows that’s part of BEEP-S.
I know the intention is to get people used to the practice but fitting dung into small containers only for it to end up pooled together in the lab makes little sense. That was a missed opportunity.
Is there merit in getting individual liver fluke results, especially when the ICBF are trying to work on genetic resistance to it? Maybe that is something to consider, especially if suckler cows are likely to be on more of the marginal agricultural ground in future.