It’s been a busy week on Tullamore Farm, with calving progressing and lambing kicking off.

On the cattle side, there is now 68 cows calved on the farm, with 32 cows left to calve.

Calving has been going well after a blip 10 days ago. There are currently 65 live calves on the ground.

Cows have been calving down with relatively little assistance. Cows have also a good supply of colostrum with no scour issues or navel infections reported so far.

Sheltered paddocks

Forty cows and calves have been turned out to sheltered paddocks.

Good weather has helped a lot this week, with perfect conditions for young calves and cows to be turned out.

Calves are being dehorned and also receive their first shot of their pneumonia vaccine at turnout.

Local anaesthetic and a painkilling injection is being used at dehorning time to makes things a little easier on the calf.

Cows also received a magnesium bolus at turnout. These boluses don’t come cheap at €7.50/each, but given the history of tetany issues on the farm, it’s a must to avoid any cow losses in spring.

Grass update

Tullamore Farm grew 25kg DM/ha over the last seven days. With the current stock that are out grazing, demand is running at 14kg DM/ha/day.

Average farm cover is 546kg DM/ha and there is currently 39 days ahead of stock. As more stock are turned out, this figure will reduce more.

There is currently 50% of the farm grazed to date, which is a little behind target, but with more stock going out, this should increase a lot in the next week.

There is currently 30 units/acre spread on 120 acres, with a further 40 acres being spread with 30 units/acre on Friday.

Health catch-up

A quick 30-minute Zoom call was organised this week with Tullamore Farm vet Donal Lynch to discuss calving progress to date and any issues ahead of the busy period of lambing.

Colostrum was reemphasised as being hugely important in giving both calves and lambs the nest possible start.

With shed space at a premium everybody was agreed that we use the current good weather conditions to get as much stock out as possible.

This has taken a lot of pressure off around the yard and has freed up extra space ahead of lambing.

The calf vaccination protocol was also agreed on the call, with calves getting two shots of pneumonia vaccine along with two shots of clostridial vaccine. Both are given four to six weeks apart.

Breeding heifers will also start their two-shot programme for BVD and leptospirosis.


Lambing kicked off this week, with 20 ewes currently lambed. It’s expected to get very busy over the next.

Lambing supplies have been topped up and individual lambing pens have also been erected, including some temporary pens as an overflow if needed.

Ewes have started lambing well, with no issues to report.

Any triplets that have lambed so far have been cross-fostered on to ewes with single lambs.

Ewes and lambs are also being turned out to grass as soon as possible after lambing in the current good weather conditions.


The first of four virtual events featuring the Irish Farmers Journal Tullamore Farm will take place next Tuesday 23 March.

This episode will look at the sheep system on the farm. The event will detail an overview of the sheep system, along with an update on flock performance to date and a run-down on preparations for lambing 2021.

Key areas that will be focused on will include breeding policy in the flock, performance of lambs and management of ewes in early lactation during the grazing season.

There will be a veterinary discussion looking at topical health issues and a snapshot of performance recording in the flock.

The event, which is supported by AXA Insurance, ESB networks and MSD Animal Health, is free to view on and runs from 8.30pm to 9.30pm.