Dairy: Cows are out to grass full-time
Published 29/04/2015 | 02:30
The beautiful weather of last week certainly lifted the spirits. There is no nicer sight than that of cows lying in the midday sun with their bellies full. Recent blips will hopefully be short lived.
The silage ground was all fertilised around April 7. It got approximately 60 units of 24-2.5-10 plus the slurry which should amount to 80 units in total. I have reduced this from previous years in an effort to make better silage.
Last week I rolled some of the silage fields around the ditches and anywhere tracks had been made. I must watch out for weeds, especially docks and chickweed as this week is probably the last chance for spraying. Chickweed is becoming a problem in some fields.
The cows got to grass full-time last week. The second rotation of paddocks began last week as well. There are no heavy covers of grass about but conditions are ideal.
My farm cover is 732kg/ha of drymatter. Stocking rate is 4.71 LU/ha. Cows are being fed 9-10kg grass, 5kg concentrate and 2kg silage. They can eat silage after milking times.
This will decrease as grass covers increase. Cows are producing 28.5 litres at 3.72pc fat and 3.05 protein, giving 1.98kg of milk solids (MS) per cow daily. The TBC is 5,000 and Therm 500.
While there is one heifer left to calve, the next breeding season has already started. Breeding began on April 2. By day 21 there were over 40 cows bred. I was pleased with this and was happy enough that very few were missed. There have been some repeats.
Cows are showing strong heats. I checked the cows last thing at night and it definitely showed up heats that weren't visible in the morning. The teaser bull with chinball harness is now with the cows. This week I must look at what cows haven't yet cycled and get them checked.