Is now the time to introduce meal, and how much?
Published 29/08/2012 | 06:00
It is hard to believe that this time last year we had a lot of grass with a few paddocks being cut for silage bales.
This year is the complete opposite, with ground conditions so poor that we had to transport our last 150 bales of silage from the field using a tractor with a lifter carrying two bales each time.
It may have been a lot slower than using a trailer but as the distance to where we stack the bales was not too far it worked out well.
Now with everything baled we have cattle slurry to spread but ground is to wet to travel on.
Grass growth is still very slow so our lamb thrive is also back, with only 25pc of lambs gone for slaughter.
The question is: do we feed meal and how much? If all lambs are going to be kept for slaughter I think meal will have to be introduced now. I know it is going to be expensive, a bulk ration high in energy will cost about €320/t.
So if I feed 0.4kg per lamb for two months the lamb will eat 24kg which will cost nearly €8.
This only covers the meal cost, nothing for the extra work and time involved in feeding and moving troughs. I would need an extra €10 per lamb or 20c/kg on a 20kg carcase to cover my costs.