Make preparations now to be certain you can put the feet up for Christmas
As the world prepares to celebrate Christmas next week, farmers should also pause for a moment too. I know cows still have to be milked and animals fed, but I think if you start planning today to get organised, you will succeed in having a relaxing time with your family next week.
Things like checking all feed and detergent supplies so that there is enough to carry through into the new year, making sure the tractors are full of diesel, having the covers on the pit rolled back enough to do at least a week, and finally, be prepared for frost if it arrives.
Frost and snow are the last thing on our minds with temperatures above 12C last week.
But the mild weather has allowed me to get a lot of little jobs completed. Ground conditions were good enough to get 38t of lime spread on 15ac of cow paddocks at the end of November.
My lime requirement for this year was 110t according to soil test results. I have spread almost 80t of this. Some of the remaining paddocks only require about half a tonne which is very small. I will soil sample any remaining paddocks in January which will leave all owned and rented land sampled.
I brought 24 of the weanling heifers indoors on December 3. There are still five outdoors. If the weather changes for the worse they will come in. The 24 were weighed and had an average weight of 293kg varying from 235-370kg.
Teagasc recommend an average weight of 282kg for February born calves in mid-December. My lightest heifers were April-born. I separated five lighter ones into a pen and they will get extra meal up to 3kg per day of a 20pc heifer nut. The average liveweight gain from birth was 0.83kg/day.