Farm walk show-cases move from suckling to calves
Michael and Kathleen Flynn are hosting a Teagasc Green Acres Calf to Beef farm walk on Wednesday, September 14 at 2.30pm
The event will focus on the Flynns production system, herd health and financial performance.
The Flynns farm 57 hectares of land at Killard, Puckane, Nenagh, Co. Tipperary. Traditionally they kept autumn calving suckler cows, slaughtering bulls at 16 months and heifers at 18 to 20 months.
A couple of years ago Michael and Kathleen started rearing a small number of Hereford bull calves from the dairy herd and slaughtering them as steers at 22 months.
Having done well with the initial bunch of bucket reared calves, they have steadily increased the numbers of artificially reared calves to 100 in 2015. The suckler cow herd had been reduced to 27 cows and followers at this stage also.
As part of the Teagasc Green Acres Calf to Beef programme, the plan for Michael and Kathleen is to exit the suckler cow enterprise altogether by selling the cows with calves at foot in the autumn. One hundred and thirty calves were reared this spring and this will be increased to 150 in 2017 and to 170 in 2018.
The Flynn farm is a dry farm allowing them to get out to grass early in the spring and maximise the number of days grazing. Michael is an excellent grassland manager, achieving excellent weight for age with his stock, with a large proportion of this weight gain coming from grazed grass.
All the calves are purchased in the February to early April period and are predominantly Hereford bull calves from the dairy herd.