John Joyce: Late housing date bodes well for our winter fodder outlook
We have approximately half of the cattle indoors at this stage, with the remaining being housed as they start running out of grass.
One batch of cows is getting round bale silage to help prolong the grass for as long as possible. A few weeks ago we made 81 bales of third cut and this has really boosted the forage supply for this coming winter.
With the relative late housing date, it is now looking good for the supply of forage in storage for the coming winter.
As it stands we have only a handfull of weanlings inside yet and with the stress of housing and the changing of environment for these young animals, I am always mindful of the problems associated with it, mainly pneumonia and viruses.
This year I have come across these problems in a batch of the youngest weanlings still on their mothers outdoors.
It was very disappointing from a management point of view as these calves were dosed during the summer, they were grazing a sheltered field and their mothers have access to good quality round bale silage.
I have never come across this problem in outdoor weanlings. These weanlings were herded daily so I can say it was a shock to find these sick calves isolated from the herd, maybe sheltering in the corner of a field and their mother unsuckled.
While it was only four or five calves, it was still a high percentage of the group in question.