The weather has taken a turn for the better, allowing farmers around the country to get more stock out to grass with the improved ground conditions.

This week a further 20 maiden heifers were released to fresh paddocks on Tullamore Farm. Farm manager Shaun Diver hopes to release the rest of the maiden heifers out to grass if ground conditions continue to improve into next week.

All heifers are currently being vaccinated for clostridial diseases before being turned out to grass.

Shaun said: ‘’Next week I plan on bringing in the heifers to weigh them in order to monitor their performance. I will also be vaccinating any heifers that I plan to use for breeding for BVD and leptospirosis. The heifers that I won’t be using for breeding will be let go and given just a mineral bolus.’’

There are also three ewes and six lambs grazing outdoors on paddocks this week. The hope is to let out more ewes with lambs at foot in the upcoming days.

Grass cover

This week’s average grass cover is 710kgDM/ha, which has increased by 10kgDM/ha from last week.

Shaun said: “There is a noticeable difference in ground conditions on the farm this week. If the weather continues to remain dry I plan on spreading more slurry using the trailing shoe method next week. This will give us a good opportunity to let more cows and calves out to fresh paddocks.”

Lambing and calving

Lambing is in full swing, with a total of 12 ewes lambed on the farm. All ewes and newborn lambs are being moved to fresh straw-bedded pens and lambs are being sprayed with iodine on their navel to prevent bacterial disease and infection.

Shaun said: ‘’Lambing is going well so far on the farm. We have had a few successful adoptions of pet lambs on to single-bearing ewes. We try to take one from a set of triplets and adopt them on to ewes with single lambs as this process gives the weaker lambs the best possible chance to thrive.’’

The ewes’ feed ration is the same as last week, with the twin-bearing mature ewes being fed a ration at a rate of 850g/day and the triplet-carrying ewes are fed rate of 1000g/day.

Singles continue with no concentrates and are being feed good-quality silage with a DMD of 75%.

Calving is slowing down on the farm, with three calves born this week, leaving only 30 cows left to calve.

Shaun said: ‘’Now that calving has slowed down our main focus on the farm is to dehorn calves and turn out the majority of cows and calves to sheltered paddocks in the next few days.’’