As we got 100% submission rate for the heifers it’s now the cows turn and 89% isn’t a bad figure.

 

However, things weren’t straightforward as we were concerned with body condition scores in the spring calvers and with autumn calvers they appeared after 200 days in milk with the odd spare tyre and totally blasé about breeding as our pre-mating paint-ups indicated. However, we have caught them this year with the help of those sticky fabric capsules that pop a red colour when rubbed by a bulling cow aids (no advertising here, I’m still waiting for those tickets to New Zealand).

The grazing season is looking a little trying, with a lack of moisture for some weeks. However, grass is still brilliant green and to date, not too much by way of heading. We have no fields shut up for silage yet and grass growth has kept up with demand at 44kg dm/ha and covers remain at 2100kg dm/ha. We are planning to supplement the once a day milking group with brewers grains with a little also going to the main twice a day group.

We have joined the grass monitoring group, which is a good opportunity for us to get together and make decisions – like coffee or tea? Cake or biscuit? We also had the real farmers (herd managers) discussion group on farm and they were impressed with our new weighing crush and handling facilities and had some great ideas for the lads.

I’ve been busy digging a meter hole to provide cows with water. It takes someone with experience to watch a hole being dug with a big JCB – you have to have a constant look of concern and authority, lean on a spade and walk round the hole all the time looking downward.

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