Steering a steady path for a Hereford herd
Sourcing local calves for his Hereford herd is the cornerstone of Michael Flynn's beef enterprise
Published 05/10/2016 | 02:30
A huge crowd of over 700 farmers saw an excellently run Hereford steer system in action when they turned out for the recent Teagasc Green Acres farm walk at Michael Flynn's holding in Puckane, Co Tipperary.
On the day, Michael outlined that his system is one where Hereford bull calves are bought primarily in February and March, ideally sourced directly from farms where possible. Sourcing a large number of Hereford calves at this time of the year can be quite challenging he said.
Michael is firm believer of buying an early calf as much as possible, and the plan is not to buy calves born after the first week of April. These calves are reared on a good quality milk replacer with a minimum of 23pc crude protein, fresh water, straw and a 20pc crude protein calf pencil until weaning.
Increasing Calf Numbers
Over the last number of years Michael has being increasing the number of calves reared and this spring 130 calves were reared. In order to alleviate disease pressure and overcrowding in the calf rearing shed, two batches are moved to a sheltered field with access to a shed after approx. seven to eight weeks.
At grass these calves receive milk replacer twice per day from a feeder unit pulled behind a quad or jeep. The calves were weaned at 11/12 weeks at weights in excess of 100kgs, these calves received just short of two bags of milk replacer each.
Exceptional Weaning Weights
The exceptional weaning weights can be attributed to the excellent calf rearing skills of Michael and Kathleen and the use of adequate levels of milk replacer to support maintenance and growth of the young calf.