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The effect of over wintering strategies on performance and carcass characteristics for cull dairy cows on a subsequent grass based finishing strategy

  • W. Minchin (a1), M. O’Donovan (a2), D. Kenny (a2), F. Monahan (a1), L. Shalloo (a1) and F. Buckley (a1)...

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Cull cows comprise about 44% of all cattle slaughtered at Irish meat factories in 2006; which was an increase of 6% from 2005. Between September and December 2006, 18% of cull cows failed to achieve P+3 carcass classification compared with 12% for the remainder of the year (DAF, 2006). There is a large proportion of cows slaughtered in November, which suggests that unfit (low bodyweight and condition score) cows are being presented for slaughter at the end of lactation without finishing prior to slaughter. Farmers who are finish feeding cull cows have an interest in alternative feeding regimes i.e. pasture and/or forage use for a more economical beef supply due to increasing concentrate costs, however present farm practice and culling decisions made by the dairy farmer often excludes this as a real possibility. The objective of this study was to compare days to slaughter, average daily gain, and final live and carcass of cull dairy cows subjected to four over-wintering strategies prior to a pasture based finishing diet.

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Evans, R.D, Dillon, P., Buckley, F., Berry, D.P., Wallace, M., Ducrocq, V and Garrick, D.J. 2006. Animal Science 82:423–434
Minchin, W., O’Donovan, M., Kenny, D.A., Monahan, F.J., Shalloo, L., and Buckley, F. 2007. Agricultural Research Forum, pg 47.
DAF (Department of Agriculture and Food) Agricultural Production. www.agriculture.gov.ie 2006.

The effect of over wintering strategies on performance and carcass characteristics for cull dairy cows on a subsequent grass based finishing strategy

  • W. Minchin (a1), M. O’Donovan (a2), D. Kenny (a2), F. Monahan (a1), L. Shalloo (a1) and F. Buckley (a1)...

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