New housing facility opens up development opportunity for Co Down suckler business

Teemore Engineering's Fergal Quinn (centre) chatting to Michael and Stephen Savage in the new cattle shed, which was fitted out by the Co Fermanagh engineering company
Teemore Engineering's Fergal Quinn (centre) chatting to Michael and Stephen Savage in the new cattle shed, which was fitted out by the Co Fermanagh engineering company
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Michael Savage and his uncle Stephen run a suckler beef enterprise, near Drumaness in Co Down. The herd, which is November/December calving, comprises 13 cows.

“We make every effort to produce high quality calves,” Michael explained.

“Charolais breeding predominates, so much so that we recently established a small pedigree herd. Our aim is to develop this side of the business over the coming years.”

In tandem with the investment in improved genetics, 2015 saw the uncle and nephew team commit to building a new winter accommodation unit on the farm.

Michael takes up the story: “The housing facilities that we had been using up to that point were no longer fit for purpose. What we needed was a modern shed that would meet the complete needs of the cows and their calves during the winter months.

“After a fair bit of debate, we settled on a four bay building, containing eight pens: four of which would be slatted. Ground work got underway last summer with the house completed at the start of January 2016.

“The dry cows and young stock can be housed in the slatted pens, each of which is 15 feet by 18 feet,” Stephen explained.

“That leaves the bedded pens for the cows and their calves.”

All of the internal fittings were manufactured, supplied and fitted by Teemore Engineering. These included all the dividing gates, diagonal feed gates, an internal raceway, 30 feet crush with bespoke Teemore head gate, a calving pen and calf de horning crate.

“The feed gates, which feature on both sides of the main passage way, were manufactured specifically for the new house,” confirmed Fergal Quinn, a recent visitor to the Savages’ farm.

“In fact, many of the fit-outs that we do are bespoke in nature.

“The race and crush are helping to improve the management standards that can be achieved by both Michael and Stephen, when it comes to working with their stock.”

The Savages are delighted with the new shed.

“It is doing the job which we intended it to do,” said Michael.

“The new shed will be invaluable as we build up the pedigree numbers on the farm

“We selected Teemore for the fit-out as they are a local company and we have always been very impressed with the products they supply.

“Even more impressive was the turn-around time, in terms of the work they did. The Teemore team had most of the fit-out completed in one day.”

For further information, telephone Teemore Engineering on (028) 6774 8377.