You can’t manage what you don’t measure. Unless you measure something, you don’t know if it is getting better or worse.
Last winter, Teagasc and the ICBF measured winter daily gain on 18 farms in weanlings fed silage and meals. On five farms, steers gained less than 0.2kg of liveweight per day over a 100-day period. Instead of putting on the targeted 60kg (0.6kg per day), they put up less than 20kg. The average daily gain was 0.38kg for steers, and 0.39kg for heifers. All 18 farms were feeding meal.
How did your weanlings do last winter? If you didn’t weigh them at the start and the end of the winter you cannot answer that question. Without weighing, would you notice the difference between a 0.2 and 0.6kg daily gain? All the farmers with the poorly performing weanlings last winter were surprised at the poor results of the weighings.
The ICBF now has weighing technicians in every county. They use a weighing platform that conveniently fits into most cattle crushes, and that can weigh large numbers of stock in a relatively short period of time.
They will leave you with a printout of the weights, and within a week, a full report is posted to you, including how the cattle have performed since any previous weighings they would have done for you.
Use this service to measure performance on your farm, to see if changes in the way you manage your stock are needed.
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