17 January 1996

Do bulls have enough space?

BULLS serving autumn calving sucklers must have enough room to work inside, and bulls and suckler cows must be fed adequately.

Elwyn Rees, ADAS beef specialist, warns that where bedding in straw yards has built up over winter, bulls may not have enough headroom to work. "If possible, clean out yards before the start of bulling."

He also warns that both bulls and cows should be adequately fed, particularly where silage quality is poor. "Silage on some farms is of poor quality. Where it has an ME of 9.5-10, cows should receive 2-3kg concentrate to ensure they are on a rising plane of nutrition and will hold to service. Bulls should be fed separately from cows when possible, receiving about 4kg concentrate."

Where silage has an ME value of 11, about 1kg concentrate a cow will suffice, says Dr Rees.

"On a straw based diet, a concentrate of about 18% protein is vital. Cows should receive at least 4kg a head a day of concentrate; bulls will need about 6kg a head.n