Focus on costs shows the way to better finishing
Uncle and nephew William and Kenneth Grant are no strangers to feeding cattle over winter -- between their two farms they finish more than 1,500 cattle every year.
Kenneth, who is based in Cloughjordan, Nenagh, Co Tipperary, concentrates on heifers and aims to kill for around nine months of the year, generally from the first week in November to the start of August.
The heifers are mainly Continentals, although he will also buy good Angus or Whitehead heifers, once they have the good square R to U grade conformation he is looking for.
"I like to buy the hungry ones that I can put flesh on," Kenneth said.
"I buy at the mart at 12-24 months old and keep them for 12 months. They go out on grass if it's there or into the shed otherwise."
The heifers are sent to AIBP in Nenagh when they are fit for slaughter.
His feeding menu consists of grass silage, maize, barley, bread meal, biscuit meal, soya meal, soya hulls and straw.
The majority of ingredients are bought in as straights and mixed in a diet feeder. All of the silage and maize is produced on the farm.