It has been a challenging week on Newford Farm, the 100-cow suckler-to-beef herd located in Athenry, Co Galway.

With 16mm of rainfall at the start of the week and significant volumes forecast thereafter, a decision was taken to temporarily rehouse the 50 cows and calves and yearling bullocks.

The practice was relatively straightforward, with cows and calves grazing on the main Newford block, while yearling bullocks were grazing on the Tuohy’s outfarm block, where they have been housed over the winter.

Having animals back indoors has increased the labour requirement, but it is hoped this will be a short-term change and cows and calves can get back outdoors early next week.

Different story for heifers

The option of rehousing heifers was not near as straightforward, with these animals moved out last week to another outfarm block.

Rehousing these animals would have been a major task.

While retaining them outdoors has been challenging, grazing animals on the drier paddocks on Coen’s outfarm and moving heifers to fresh grass without forcing them to graze out paddocks tight is working relatively well and avoiding any significant poaching.

Calving progress

A handful of cows have calved over the last week, bringing the total number calved to 71 cows as of Friday evening.

There are 67 live calves on the ground and 20 cows left to calve.

The farm is continuing with restricted feeding of silage during daytime hours (8am to 4pm) and this is working well in reducing calvings during night time hours.