It was a busy week on Tullamore Farm. With calving slowing down, there is more time to carry out other important tasks on the farm.
On Tuesday, all the heifers were brought in to be weighed in order to monitor performance outdoors.
The average weight for the heifers was recorded at 360kg. Their average date of birth is 5 March 2021, so that means they were 389 days old at weighing.
If we take off 40kg for birth weight, that means they have done -.82kg/day since birth, probably a little behind where they need to be.
We would have liked to get them out a little sooner, but they will still hit the target of 400kg at breeding in early May.
Farm manager Shaun Diver said: "Weighing the heifers gave us a good indicator on how they are performing and which heifers might need extra attention.
"Seventeen lighter heifers were separated and put into a paddock where they will be receiving 1.5kg/head/day of concentrates. The remaining stronger 25 heifers will be left just on grass.’’
The grass cover this week is 922kg DM/ha, which has deceased by 11kg DM/ha from last week’s grass cover. The average growth rate per day remains strong at 29kg DM/ha.
Shaun said: "I was expecting the grass cover to drop this week with the high numbers of stock being turned out to paddocks. There is still a high growth rate of 29kg, which should encourage more grass to grow, with the additional help of slurry and fertiliser.
"This week, we spread 2,600 gallons per acre of slurry using a trailing shoe on 55 acres of silage ground. If rain comes in the next few days, I plan on spreading fertiliser on some of the lighter paddocks on the farm.’’
Lambing is going strong, with a total of 160 ewes lambed so far. Ewes and lambs are being moved to individual pens with straw bedding after lambing before being turned out to paddocks.
Shaun said: "Lambing is going well, with very few issues so far. The turn to cold weather may have an impact on getting those younger lambs out to grass over the next few days."
The ewes' feed ration is the same as last week, with the twin-bearing mature ewes being fed at a rate of 850g/day this week and the triplet-carrying ewes fed 1,000g/day.
Singles continue with no concentrates and are being feed good-quality silage with a DMD of 75%.
The calving season is nearly complete on Tullamore Farm, with only 17 cows left to calf.
Shaun added: "Calving is near a finish on the farm and we are starting to see some bulling activity taking place already on some of the earlier February-calved cows.
"We will be keeping a close eye on the cows and we will record any heats to aid heat detection when breeding starts."