Beef: I won't be complaining about drawing in silage this summer
Published 27/04/2016 | 02:30
We are looking at shortening our breeding season from 12 weeks back to 10 or maybe even less.
All our beef bulls are now sold and looking on the computer at their performance, we noticed quite quickly that those slaughtered before January 1 averaged 395kg carcase weight while those slaughtered since January 1 averaged almost 30kg/head less.
Since they all came into the shed at the same time, it's ironic that the lighter bulls have eaten significantly more concentrate than the heavier bulls.
Trying to analyse why this might be, the thought entered my mind that it could be to do with the poorer cows tending to slip towards the end of the breeding season.
Looking at the best calves their dams tend to be pretty close to the 365-day calving interval and the reverse also seems to hold. For the poorer calves, their dams tend to have a longer calving interval.
They say every day is a school day. And that has certainly been the case in recent weeks, trying to keep stock out without doing too much poaching and damage to pastures.
One of the main reasons we were reluctant to bring back in some of the cows and calves had as much to do with vanity as anything else.
Because for the first time in a long time, when we turned out one shed of cows and calves, after cleaning out the shed, we power-hosed it from top to bottom, including slats, and I just couldn't bring myself to let the cows back in again to dirty it so soon.