Make the most of the Christmas period to take a short break from the daily farming routine.

It's important to clear the head and recharge the batteries ahead of another busy spring.

To help get a break, outlined are five tips to make sure essential tasks are completed, giving you time to spend with family over the holidays.

1. Double up on silage feeding

On Christmas Eve, double up on silage feeding by leaving a few extra grabs in the passageway of cattle sheds. This means that on Christmas morning, it is only a matter of pushing in the silage.

If cattle are fed via a diet feeder, refill the wagon as soon as it is emptied, leaving it ready to go with the next feed.

2. Bedding cattle

The same can be applied to bedding cattle by putting in extra straw on Christmas Eve. Cleaning out bedded sheds in the days before Christmas can help stretch the fresh bedding applied.

3. Filling meal in advance

Another job is filling as many meal buckets or bags as possible, saving time when feeding stores and finishing cattle over Christmas.

4. Prioritise jobs

Think about what jobs are essential, such as bedding and feeding, and which one can be delayed for a few days. Good time management is key to getting a break from the farm.

5. Family help

Christmas time often means there will be family members available, as kids get school holidays or some return home for a few days.

Where family members are available to help out, spread out the workload so that jobs get done quicker.

Use the extra help to get some of the bigger jobs completed, such as fluke dosing, cleaning out sheds, etc.

Finally, on behalf of the Irish Farmers Journal livestock team, I would like to wish all readers a merry Christmas and a safe and prosperous new year.

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