Sixth year in a row for enhanced fertility on Donal McParland’s farm

In 2016 Donal McParland was running a herd of over 100 LimousinXSimmental suckler cows with followers being kept through to light stores.

By The Newsroom
Saturday, 14th May 2022, 8:12 am

In addition, Donal had over 100 TexelXSuffolk ewes on the farm.

Donal said: “I was having issues with some dopey calves at calving and was using a very good licking block with minerals at the time, though I suspected some cows were not going quick enough on the blocks.

“I was in Clanrye Vets Newry, and they advised me to supplement my regime with a high iodine bolus. Their strongest iodine bolus was the Mayo HealthCare All Guard bolus.

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Donal McParland with his two sons Matthew and James

“I went in and bolused every cow that was left to calve. It gave an immediate return, and the last batch of calves popped out lively and 
were up and sucking straight away.

“As the bolus was a six month bolus, I also noticed that the cows were having a lot stronger heats and were definitely getting in calf a lot quicker.”

Two years ago, Donal decided to add 70 HolsteinXFriesian cows to his farming enterprise.

Donal added: “It was a tough decision as to whether to put in a milking parlour or go with a Lely robot. In the end I went with a Lely Robot.

Cattle on Donal McParland's farm

“With the milking cows I still use the Mayo Healthcare bolus.

“Even though the cows are on constant mineral supplementation through the wagon, I consider the bolus my insurance policy to ensure good lively calves with improved immunity.

“Just like the suckler cows, I can see it in the enhanced fertility and thrive.

“Since 2021 all calves on my farm over two months of age, get another MHC bolus, Youngstock Grazer.

“Only 1.5kg liveweight gain over six months pays back my investment, and this investment has been returned to me many times over.

“Grass is my main asset on the farm, and I want to make the best use out of it. All the heifers and beef cattle/cows get the bolus at turnout.”