This week saw two of the last three cull cows sent for slaughter.
The first graded an O+3=, with a carcase weight of 341kg. At a beef price of €3.15/kg, she came into €1,074.
The other cow graded an O=3=, with a carcase weight of 330kg. She made €3.10/kg, coming to a value of €1,023. Both cows were born in 2012.
There was also a whitehead heifer sent to the factory the same day as the cows. She was a 20-month-old and had a carcase weight of 328kg, grading R=4-. At a beef price of €3.75/kg, she came into €1,294.
Last year's crop
Farm manager Shaun Diver said he was happy with how the heifer graded. “She wasn’t the fanciest of heifers from last year’s crop and I was delighted she managed an R= for conformation.
"She didn’t get that much feeding either. She was being fed with the other cull cows and [they] have only been getting meal since they were housed in mid-October.”
One cull cow and one heifer remain on farm to be killed in the coming weeks.
Shaun said that both animals are Limousins and can handle a bit more feeding before being ready to go. They are now on 6kg of a 12% protein ration and 72DMD second-cut silage.
The ewes entered a cover of 3,500kg DM/ha on Thursday, which Shaun plans to strip graze, moving the fence every couple of days.
This is being made easier by using a Gallagher quick fence, which has four strands of electric wire.
Currently, the ewes are in excellent condition, which Shaun wants to maintain over the last few weeks at grass.
The hope is that there will be enough grass in this paddock to keep the ewes going up until Christmas.
To get the utilisation out of the grass, the fence needs to be moved every few days. If they were to be let over the entire field, they would end up trampling and wasting a lot of grass.
Shaun has another couple of paddocks with lower grass covers identified to graze up until 8 to 10 January when they will be scanned, shorn and housed.