The efficiency of weanling weighing offers better account of stock
Like most farms in the country our workload at this time of year moves from ticking over to full throttle within the next few weeks. All cattle have settled into their new surroundings with the winter dosing and parasite programme completed.
One issue I have noticed is the stuffiness of the cattle sheds as a result of the mild weather over the past month. I have decided to leave the dooors open a little at night since the last thing I need is a pneunonia problem at this time of the year.
The next issue is my rapidly rising slurry tank. Even though we are now in the spreading period, I am holding off spreading for another week as the recent rain has dampened the ground again. I have earmarked a number of fields since I'm trying to use the valuable nutrients as best I can.
Early in January I was contacted by ICBF in relation to weighing the weanlings as part of the process of recording the progeny of bulls that I used on cows in the summer of 2012.
I had never participated in a programme like this before so I was impressed with how efficient the ICBF's man in this region, Lesley Sandes from Cloughjordan, was at cataloguing the weights and condition scores.
At first I wondered how easy it would be to get the animals onto the scales but after the first few both myself and the weanlings got used to the system. Other years after weaning it was just guess work as to how good the calves were, but by weighing them it gives a more accurate account of the stock.
I was so impressed with the whole idea that I am now thinking of purchasing a scales myself. I think it would pay for itself through better stock management and I think it would give me the killout percentage to be able to weigh cattle before they are sent to the factory.