Tighter calving period increases productivity for NI beef producer

Richard Henderson gives his cows Animax boluses twice a year.
Richard Henderson gives his cows Animax boluses twice a year.

Tightening the calving interval is key to maximising productivity at a Northern Ireland beef farm.

Producing a calf every year from a herd of pedigree Limousins is the cornerstone of Richard Henderson’s suckler enterprise.

“The biggest benefit of a compact calving period is financial,” says Mr Henderson. “If a cow is calving down every year, it means you are not losing money on her, she is not standing there stale.”

A short calving interval helps to get cows back in calf in their first cycle.

Mr Henderson farms at Tobermore where a shortage of trace elements had been impacting on cow fertility until he started bolusing with Tracesure Cu/I.

Cows physically cannot consume enough dry matter to maintain body weight at a time when farmers need them to conceive. By bolusing with Animax’s Tracesure Cu/I at drying off, cows are supplemented with selenium, cobalt, iodine and copper, regardless of dry matter intake.

“Before we bolused we had three cows that were struggling to get in calf. Within one month of using Animax boluses, they held to their first AI,’’ Mr Henderson recalls.

Cows are given Animax boluses twice a year. Mr Henderson says cows not only come into heat quickly after calving but their calves are born strong and lively.

“Cows never seem to hold their cleansings. I find that four to six weeks after calving they will be back in heat again and will hold to that AI. The bolus keeps the cows more productive. Calves are stronger, healthier and up quicker to suckle, they never look back.”