Farm management tips for November
By Daniel Hession – Nutritionist & Technical Manager
- Put a plan in place for drying off. Arrange a milk recording for your herd at the latest 45 days out from drying off to help identify cows that may have somatic cell count (SCC) issues, and more importantly, to select cows that are suitable for sealer only.
- Body condition score your herd and identify cows that may be under condition and would benefit from a longer dry period. Heifers and thin cows need 10-12 weeks dry before calving to give them time to gain body condition.
- Weanlings need to gain an average of 0.6 – 0.7 kg per head per day over winter. They should be fed 1-2 kg of meal per head per day depending on the quality of the silage. Replacement heifers need to be well developed and achieve target weight for mating next spring – supplement based on silage quality and current weight.
- Group suckler cows at housing according to their body condition score. If cows are in good condition, they don’t need good quality silage, 66 - 68% DMD silage is adequate for cows in good condition after housing. Cows that are thin need to be fed 1-2 kg of meal per day depending on silage quality until they reach target condition.
- Housing in an important time to control parasites in cattle. The main parasites to control at housing are liver fluke, lungworms, and stomach worms. External parasites such as lice also need to be considered. Pay attention to product choice and timing of treatment for effective liver fluke control.
- Monitor mating progress by continuing to change raddle colour. Rotate rams between groups to guard against fertility problems. Also monitor body condition of rams and treat any lameness issues in ewes and rams.
- Remaining lambs on farm should be fed 0.5-1 kg/day of meal to achieve target weight quicker. Feeding lambs will help maximise the carcass weight and ensure lambs have adequate fat cover. Draft lamb’s regularly as they are fit for slaughter.
- Have you tested your silage and completed a fodder budget? Contact your local Farm Commercial Specialist or ask in your Local Homeland Store.