The latest TB test carried out in Newford Farm located in Athenry, Co Galway, unfortunately delivered bad news, with two heifers identified as TB reactors.

The test was part of the follow-on programme of testing since a weanling bullock was identified as a TB reactor last November, with the first issues identified now lingering back to July 2021.

The two heifers in question were quarantined from the rest of the herd following the test and have been valued by the Department of Agriculture in the last week.

The heifers weighed 495kg and 475kg and were valued at €1,460 (€2.95/kg) and €1,378 (€2.90/kg) respectively.

The heifers will be removed for slaughter imminently and the farm will remain on a TB testing programme, with the next test taking place 60 days after the heifers leave the farm.

Breeding commences

Breeding started on 20 April and the first week has been busy, with in the region of 30% of cows submitted for AI.

Once-a-day AI is being practiced, with any cow which is exhibiting standing heat on the evening prior or morning of AI inseminated at noon.

If a cow is still exhibiting standing heat in the evening after being inseminated, then they are put forward for a repeat insemination the following day.

Cows are being run in two batches with 42 in each group. Four methods of heat detection are being utilised.

Tail paint has been applied, with yellow used for the first breeding cycle. Vasectomised bulls are also being run with cows and these have been fitted with both a chin ball and Moocall Heat detection collars.

Finally, cows are being monitored regularly.