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Sucklers to dry stock

  • 05-06-2021 11:18pm
    #1
    Registered Users Posts: 363 ✭✭ trg


    Hey all, decision made that our bull is on his last campaign. So we'll go drystock year after next.

    Is it seamless enough in your experience?

    If Dad retires, he says he will but he may not, then I've a really good job but hours in Oct, Nov and December are off the scale and foddering at midnight has no appeal for me.

    We do have a 4 Bay slatted shed and cubicle house.

    Grass would be old enough mostly but ok. 60 acres including silage ground.

    The winter can be fairly long here too.

    Anyone gone through the changeover? Dos or don'ts?


Comments

  • Registered Users Posts: 107 ✭✭ Charolois 19


    I've done what you've just proposed, in a situation where I'm working full time along side the farming like yourself,
    been honest I winter only a few and there out wintered, did the housing over winter months with sucklers (bedded shed) and i had no help in my situation, I'm happier at it, not near much stress trying to juggle calving and work, I clear out a lot the October Bank Holiday weekend, I found the transition fairly easy, I did get held up with one late calver and held her on one last winter after the others were gone, but wasn't a big deal, didn't feed near as much per head over the winter, meaning in as per head including reduced stock, I was A.I tho so I was trying to get away on lunch to inseminate when they were bulling in summer, grass here old enough to, but does the job, I soil tested and improved on it, suppose been honest I bought in a few dairy xs and suckler bread In my first year I decided I'd go forward with the suckler types, found they did better, are you thinking of going to beef or forward stores or what are you thinking? And one thing for me is I don't have the 'but she puts out a great calf' if there anyway wild or spooky, there gone, and they have no hold over you, replaced with the next, you do miss calving I found anyway, but for the ease of life with a job on top I wouldn't go back now, if I could be around all the time I would, i keep heffiers ch x mainly, only thing is when there bulling the odd one can be mad on so good fences, no experience with bulls or bullocks, but definitely less stress in my life going to dry stock for the way I'm living now


  • Registered Users Posts: 363 ✭✭ trg


    Thanks for reply. I kicked around the idea of going FTAI for smaller number but decided against since I'm not keen on suckling anyway plus would create an extra group of stock.

    Why go heifers if you've the wild ones bulling and possibility of buying in calf?

    I do like calves so thinking a small group of sucks for small paddocks around the house plus bucket fed yearlings for the main part.


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,229 ✭✭✭ Hard Knocks


    trg wrote: »
    Hey all, decision made that our bull is on his last campaign. So we'll go drystock year after next.

    Is it seamless enough in your experience?

    If Dad retires, he says he will but he may not, then I've a really good job but hours in Oct, Nov and December are off the scale and foddering at midnight has no appeal for me.

    We do have a 4 Bay slatted shed and cubicle house.

    Grass would be old enough mostly but ok. 60 acres including silage ground.

    The winter can be fairly long here too.

    Anyone gone through the changeover? Dos or don'ts?
    You could put allot of fodder at the weekend and get your father to push in with a 135 and transport pox etc


  • Registered Users Posts: 823 ✭✭✭ MIKEKC


    trg wrote: »
    Thanks for reply. I kicked around the idea of going FTAI for smaller number but decided against since I'm not keen on suckling anyway plus would create an extra group of stock.

    Why go heifers if you've the wild ones bulling and possibility of buying in calf?

    I do like calves so thinking a small group of sucks for small paddocks around the house plus bucket fed yearlings for the main part.

    Changed here when decoupling came in . Buy fresian bullocks in March-April at 330kg sell to factory following autumn. Fresians cost less and are lower risk, not too worried about 30 months as majority don't grade. Very docile once fences are fairly good very little work. Always turned a profit


  • Registered Users Posts: 107 ✭✭ Charolois 19


    Didn't mean as in there wild when bulling, but just there's the chance of them rambling when they are, so that's what I ment about fences, with a flighty one bought in I was referring to a wild one, luckily only have got caught with one like that, but she was gone nearly as quick as she came, for me I pick the heffiers as I think they put on more weight easier over the time I have them, im not bringing them to finishing, there been sold on with either option of replacement or to finish, id be selling at the 16 to 18 month mark


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  • Registered Users Posts: 363 ✭✭ trg


    MIKEKC wrote: »
    Changed here when decoupling came in . Buy fresian bullocks in March-April at 330kg sell to factory following autumn. Fresians cost less and are lower risk, not too worried about 30 months as majority don't grade. Very docile once fences are fairly good very little work. Always turned a profit

    Wouldn't have anything against Friesan at all.

    You're keeping them for 1 winter ya? Much meal over the winter and approaching finish?


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,114 ✭✭✭ jfh


    Trg, when do intend to sell, off load cows with calves in the autumn or rear calves & sell cows fat next year, wondering on your get out strategy.


  • Registered Users Posts: 363 ✭✭ trg


    jfh wrote: »
    Trg, when do intend to sell, off load cows with calves in the autumn or rear calves & sell cows fat next year, wondering on your get out strategy.

    I'm hoping ye will tell me the strategy!

    Not really sure truthfully.

    We've a good hill field, might sell the weanlings (born next spring) in Oct 22 and let the cows retire over there for Summer 23.


  • Registered Users Posts: 13,169 ✭✭✭✭ Bass Reeves


    Any cow over 5-6 years or that is a plain cow I would fatten. There is a myriad of systems you can go for none right it none wrong. By fattening cows you be turning money June/July '22.

    If you decide to do calves you want them bombing from when you buy them.in. that means when you start grazing them fresh grass every day. You need to split them up as well. No point in mixing strong older calves with younger calves. Try to stay away from winter finishing costs are crazy.

    Few lads doing AA/HE heifers and finishing before or early during second winter. Some try to offload AA in Nov and get the higher bonus.

    If you buy Friesian as calves or at 6-8 months it should be possible to kid sub 30 months if you can keep them.miving off grass.

    Remember it not like suckler's try to run cattle in biggest bunches you can and move every 3-6 days. On wintering it's not a great idea to put a week's silage infront of cattle and expect them to thrive. It's not too much trouble to put a bale of good quality silage in front of a pen and push in the next day. Depending on pen size cattle should finish a bale in 3 or 3 days. Keep the feedface clean of uneaten silage once a week. That prevents build up of bad silage. Try to clean off silage ground in spring. I even see a lad in a heavish farm cleaning ground until late April2st May and cutting late June. It may be a bit stemmy but it green to the butt.

    Slava Ukrainii



  • Registered Users Posts: 363 ✭✭ trg


    Any cow over 5-6 years or that is a plain cow I would fatten. There is a myriad of systems you can go for none right it none wrong. By fattening cows you be turning money June/July '22.

    If you decide to do calves you want them bombing from when you buy them.in. that means when you start grazing them fresh grass every day. You need to split them up as well. No point in mixing strong older calves with younger calves. Try to stay away from winter finishing costs are crazy.

    Few lads doing AA/HE heifers and finishing before or early during second winter. Some try to offload AA in Nov and get the higher bonus.

    If you buy Friesian as calves or at 6-8 months it should be possible to kid sub 30 months if you can keep them.miving off grass.

    Remember it not like suckler's try to run cattle in biggest bunches you can and move every 3-6 days. On wintering it's not a great idea to put a week's silage infront of cattle and expect them to thrive. It's not too much trouble to put a bale of good quality silage in front of a pen and push in the next day. Depending on pen size cattle should finish a bale in 3 or 3 days. Keep the feedface clean of uneaten silage once a week. That prevents build up of bad silage. Try to clean off silage ground in spring. I even see a lad in a heavish farm cleaning ground until late April2st May and cutting late June. It may be a bit stemmy but it green to the butt.

    The AA/HE heifers idea might be worth a go as early kill possible.

    I take the point that there's not huge work in foddering but I don't think it's viable. My time at that stage of the year is absolutely precious and tipping in a bale every few days is OK but one little thing gone wrong (sick animal, or sick tractor) and I'm f*cked.

    I genuinely don't think it's an efficient or valuable use of my time. I'd be happier to graze the silage ground with few more animals and try get the output that way. The slurry would be a loss obv.

    Regarding the calves, I'd be only thinking of 10/15 of one even group around the house paddocks. More to keep the youngsters occupied really!


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