Grazing conditions have become a little more difficult, especially in the west of the country over the last few days. If damage is being done, housing is best.
Where cows have to be weaned, try and complete on a phased basis on dry days. Housing cows and leaving weanlings outdoors is a good option.
Weanlings will be lighter to graze and will do less damage. Heavy finishing cattle are better off housed as well if grazing in wet areas.
Some farmers in the south who had to house cattle in August have been really pleased with how the cattle throve indoors and the subsequent killouts.
Feed the best quality silage and up the meal levels to maintain performance once housed. Continental steers should go onto 5-6 kg of meal along with silage to get the desired level of finish.
Good finishing rations can be purchased at €400/tonne bulk delivered. Look for a high cereal content in finishing rations. Try to house cattle on a dry day if you can.
Safety at Loading
With extra cattle moving off farms in the coming weeks, safety at loading time is paramount. Every year you hear of accidents during loading, with the tail gates being involved in a lot of the cases.
Taking time to make sure all gates are secure before loading is key.
If loading off passageways, plan your escape route just in case you need to exit quickly. Expect the unexpected and watch for animals turning at the ramp and forcing back.
Patience is key and staying calm is also important. Shouting and roaring at cattle or fellow stockman won’t help.
Make sure trailers or lorries have both loading gates working properly, be very careful bringing gates around to close and watch for a flying hoof to kick back the gate.
The last day for spreading slurry in 2022 is 7 October. The deadline for spreading FYM is 31 October, with the closed period starting on 1 November.
Another week will be shaved off the 2023 slurry deadline. Make sure all tanks have been emptied as much as possible ahead of winter.
Remember to close tanks again after lids have been opened. A wet spring can sometimes put pressure on slurry storage capacity, and you might need all the space you can get.
To maximise this storage capacity, make sure you have as much clean water as possible diverted away from slurry tanks.
Take a walk around the yard this weekend and check that all clean water drains are doing what they should be when it rains. These drains and gullies can become blocked with leaves and other debris and can cause big problems if heavy rain comes in a short period.
We had a huge response to our call out for feed related questions for this week’s focus, so thanks to everybody who sent in questions.
We will have another feed related focus in October and any questions that weren’t answered this week will be answered then.
Keep your questions coming to firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com and we will do our best to answer them all.