This week on Tullamore Farm, we focus on the beef side of the house, by weighing the 2021-born bull weanlings.

This is an important task in order to see the overall performance and average daily weight gain of the bulls during their winter feeding period.

The system on Tullamore Farm is a 16-month bull-beef system, with the bulls being moved indoors from 1 November.

The strongest bulls are started on a feeding regime of 2kg of growing ration per day and it is then gradually increased to 6.5kg/day.

The current ration being fed on the farm is a 16% protein weanling ration. This is coming in at €310/t.

Bulls will move on to the finishing ration around the beginning of March and will continue to be fed ad-lib ration for 100 to 120 days until slaughter.

Weighing took place on Thursday 20 January and the 37 bulls had an average weight of 449kg. Bulls gained 1.39kg/day since their last weighing on 10 December 2021.

The weight analysis shows that bulls have gained 1.27kg/day since birth. The heaviest bull on the farm is a QCD-sired bull out of a first-cross Limousin cow with a replacement index of €164.

The bull was born on 19 February 2021 and has an average daily gain of 1.54kg/day since birth.

Figure 1 shows the bull weights sorted into breed type. In the group, there are 15 Charolais bulls, five Limousins, nine Salers and eight Simmentals.

It shows the Simmental bulls coming in heaviest at 485kg, with an average date of birth of 19 February 2021. The Limousin bulls came in the next heaviest at 462kg, while the Charolais weighed 450kg and the Salers bulls weighed 408kg.

February-born bulls weighed 482kg, March-born bulls weighed 440kg, while the April-born bulls weighed 387kg, almost 100kg lighter than the February-born bulls.

The above analysis includes eight of the youngest bulls on the farm. The eight youngest bulls are receiving a lower level of concentrates and will be finished at a later stage to the main group.

Excluding these eight bulls, the remaining 29 bulls had an average daily gain of 1.57kg/day since the last weighing.