I have one cow left to calve and my focus has now moved from calving on to breeding and AI.
My breeding season always starts on 1 January.
The first week was quiet, but since then, almost half of what is available for insemination at the moment has been inseminated.
Once again, the camera system plays a vital role for heat detection.
I can look in live anytime I want, while also coming home and being able to play back the day's happenings.
However, it often makes me quite unpopular with the rest of the household, as the camera system is on the main TV in the living room and no one wants to see me stuck in front of it for an hour at a time when they’re wanting to enjoy Netflix’s latest offerings.
I’ve only just got around to testing my silage a couple of weeks ago.
I knew it was good anyway from the way the cows were performing on it, but it still surpassed my expectations.
Dry matter was 33%, DMD was 75% and protein was 15%.
Now I’m left wondering what I should do about the level of meal I’m feeding to my calved cows.
They are currently on 1.5kg of rolled barley, 0.5kg of soya bean meal, 100g of post-calving minerals and 40g of Panatec rumen proof.
Cows are in good body conditions and are coming in heat nicely.
However, based on my silage analysis, there is the potential to save a few euros by reducing the amount of meal I’m feeding or maybe even cutting it out altogether.
One kg of concentrate should easily hold condition along with ad-lib silage, and I have plenty of silage.
The flip side of that is, if I reduce the amount of energy into the cow in the middle of breeding, even if that energy isn’t needed, will it have a small effect on the cow’s fertility and leave my few euros saved in a false economy.
I think I’ll take my chances and reduce things back a little and monitor performance.
The first small batch of lambs were drafted and went to the factory. It’s too early for the kill sheet, but I would be hoping most of them should reach the top weight.
There is very little meal in these lambs, but they weighed well live and at the current prices look like there should be a bit of a profit in them.