'You shouldn't be able to see the long ribs at this time of the year'
Published 28/09/2016 | 02:30
Brothers Danny and Patrick Cremin (pictured) are milking 206 cows in the parish of Killeedy in West Limerick.
A strong emphasis is placed on body condition scoring (BCS) on this farm and the results are clear to be seen.
Cows were scanned mid-way through the breeding season by means of a milk test and only 24 of the 206 cows were confirmed not-in-calf after 6 weeks of breeding.
A full scan of the entire herd took place last week with only 12 cows (6pc) showing up not in calf. Impressive figures by any standard.
Body condition score is measured regularly on this farm with a specific focus on three key periods; in spring before breeding, mid-summer and finally in Autumn time.
The last BCS took place three weeks ago and at that stage-six cows were identified as being below a body condition score of 2.75.
Many farmers might opt to increase meal feeding to these cows, but only 338kg of meal/cow has been fed on this to date this year and the last time cows received meal was in May so the option chosen was to put these six cows on once a day milking immediately.
It should also be noted that cows are presently milking 16 litres with 5.08pc fat and 4.13pc protein (1.5kg milk solids/cow) and are predicted to deliver 470kg of milk solids to the Co-op this year.