Herd Tasks: Your weekly farming checklist

Your weekly reminder of the things that should be at the top of your farm to-do list. Published every Monday on Irish Examiner Farming.
Herd Tasks: Your weekly farming checklist

Most, if not all stock, are now housed so now is the time to discuss the correct dosing protocol for your herd with your vet.

Monday, November 28 - Sunday, December 4

All Stock 

  • Most, if not all stock, are now housed so now is the time to discuss the correct dosing protocol for your herd with your vet.
  • Ensure that whatever dose you use is used correctly, at the right time and that you are targeting the parasites present in your herd. Consider dung sampling as an aid and discuss the correct vaccination protocol with your vet.

Sucklers

  • Group dry cows according to Body Condition Score at housing and feed accordingly if necessary.
  • Ideally, dry sucklers should need no body condition adjustment post-dry-off. If they do, then they have been underfed before their calf was weaned.
  • Don’t stock pens too heavily to avoid bullying of fresh cows and injury to young calves.

Dairy

  • Driving intake must be your priority to boost milk and fertility performance. Consistent feeding indoors is the way to achieve this as we are now halfway through November and AI season for Autumn 2023 calving is underway.
  • Early spring cows are now dry, and many more will be dried off each week going forward. Set up a dry cow diet appropriate to prepare these cows for their next lactation.

Growing weanlings & Store cattle 

  • Youngstock will often be underfed concentrates when forages are poor. Make sure you grow them as well as possible - gaining weight on young animals is much cheaper than on older ones. Protein is key for these animals.

Compiled by Brian Reidy, an independent ruminant nutritionist at Premier Farm Nutrition.

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