Dairy / Beef / Suckler Production Revision Questions

Dairy / Beef / Suckler Production Revision Questions

Dairy / Beef / Suckler Production – Revision Questions

3- Breeds / Characteristics of animals
Beef : British
: Continental /

Differentiate between liquid milk and creamery milk production ______

Name the most common dairy breed in Ireland ______

What is the approximate composition of milk ? ______

Name a laboratory test to establish the hygienic quality of milk ______

List the factors that influence the composition of milk :


Name the most common system of milk production in Ireland, explaining why it is so ______

Complete the following table for cows

Length of oestrus cycle (days)
Duration of Oestrus (days)
Gestation length (days)
Birth weight of calf (kgs)
Desired Calving Interval (days)

List the reasons why calves should get up to 3 litres of colostrums in the 1st 24 hours of life :


What are the consequences of calves getting inadequate amounts of colostrum ______

List the measures a farmer should take to reduce cow / calf mortality at calving time :


What is joint ill and how can it be prevented ? ______

Briefly describe the care and management of the dairy calf from birth to 6 weeks of age ______

What is meant by ‘the scratch factor’ ? ______

Describe the importance of ‘the dry period’ – be specific ! ______

What is the average length of dairy cow lactation ? ______

Differentiate between ‘peak yield’ and ‘total lactation yield’ describing the relationship between them ______

What is the approximate average yield of an Irish dairy cow (litres or gallons ) ______

Briefly describe the care and management of the dairy cow for the 1st three months after calving ______

Explain the role of ‘tail painting’ as part of a breeding strategy ______

What is meant by ‘Body Condition Score’ , and explain why its management is so important on dairy farms ______

Describe the management of Spring calving dairy cows from months 4 to 8 of lactation ______

Explain what is meant by a ‘metabolic disease’, naming one, giving it causes, symptoms, and treatment.


Name the most common illness of lactating dairy cows, giving causes, symptoms and treatment ______

Complete the following table for replacement heifers ;

Age at 1st calving (mths)
Age at mating (mths)
Weight at 1st housing (kgs)
Weight at calving (kgs)
Suitable bull breed for mating :

Describe the desirable characteristics of a replacement heifer ______

What is the oesophageal groove ______

What is the most common illness of artificially reared calves, give causes, symptoms and treatment ______

Describe what you would assess to establish if a named farm animal was healthy ______

Describe the most common grazing system employed by dairy farmers, giving three advantages and two disadvantages of the system. ______

In Spring many farmers add Calcined Magnesite to the dairy ration. Why do they do this ? ______

Give the dental formula of a Dairy Cow ______

Describe the winter feeding management of a Spring calving dairy cow - ______

Explain what is meant by ‘steaming up’, listing its advantages ______

Describe the care and management of a suckler cow from calving to 6months post calving ______

Describe the breeding strategy, and other key objectives, a suckler farmer will adopt to maximise productivity and profitability on his/ her farm ______

When is a suckler calf weaned ______

How should the suckler calf be managed around weaning time to minimise illness / mortality ? ______

Differentiate between condition score and conformation score ______

2 Bullocks of similar weight were slaughtered. One graded O4H, while the other graded U3. Explain what this meant. ______

Farmers striving to maximise profitability try to exploit ‘compensatory growth’ to the maximum. What is compensatory growth and how can it be exploited ? ______

What are ‘concentrates’ and explain why they are fed to almost all farm animals ______

Explain how and why cereals need to be processed prior to feeding to ruminants ______

What is meant by ‘feed conversion efficiency’ ______

Write brief notes on hygiene and disease control in a milking parlour ______

A member of the Phylum Platyhelminthes has cost beef farmers millions over the last two wet years in lost productivity and treatment costs. Identify this parasite, writing brief notes on its life cycle ______


The common tick transmits a member of the Phylum Protozoa to grazing bovines causing a potentially fatal illness. Identify the member of this Phylum and the disease it causes : ______

Describe the housing, feeding and general management required to maximise weight gains on finishing beef cattle indoor during their final winter. ______

At what approximate weights will finished continental beef animals be at slaughter ? ______

Differentiate between a ‘notifiable’ disease and a ‘zoonotic’ disease , giving two examples of each ______

The ‘leader- follower’ system of grazing has a number of advantages from a disease control and productivity point of view. List them: ______

‘Mixed grazing’ is practiced widely in the west of Ireland. List the advantages of ‘mixed grazing’ ______

What precautions does a farmer need to take when administering antibiotics to farm animals ? ______

What precautions does the average livestock farmer have to take to protect the environment ?


List three factors that determine the protein requirements of a farm animal ______

Describe the process whereby cellulose is digested by the ruminant ______

To optimise fertility, farmers put animals on a ‘rising plane of nutrition’ as they approach mating. What does ‘rising plane of nutrition’ mean, and what are the benefits of employing it ? ______

Differentiate between feeding for ’maintenance’ and ‘production’, giving examples of when each might be employed in a named farm animal. ______

Differentiate between an ‘endoparasite’ and an ‘ectoparasite’, giving one example of each in bovines ______

Account for the differing nutrient composition of a calf ration and a finishing beef ration ______

Describe a laboratory test to identify the presence of starch in a sample of animal feed ______

Selenium, Iodine and Copper and vital elements in the diets of both dairy and suckler cows. Describe how such elements could be given to cows ______

What quantity of meal should a calf be consuming at weaning ______

List the factors that determine the amount of meals fed to a dairy cow in early lactation ______

What temperature is milk stored at on farm ______

What is the purpose of a ‘hot descale wash’ ______

Describe the environmental conditions required in a calf house to minimise disease ______

List the advantages of housing animals overwinter ______