This month’s copy is my 10-year anniversary – and what fun it has been passing on my words of wisdom.
This month we have been mostly calving. Our nought to 60 in 2.5 days refers to number of cows calved. This week we have actually calved 120 heifers and 40 cows, which seemed a good idea last April.
However, because there are less cows for the heifers to follow on to the rotary we are having to push them on, whereas in the past they would follow the cows like there was no tomorrow. Still they are not having much by way of competition and are quite relaxed.
We are currently working long 12-hour days. However, unlike some farmers where it is the norm to work a 12-hour day, luckily in a few months we will be back down to eight-hour days.
The synchronising of the heifers has been a success but we are getting a few odd calves that would be from our stock bulls and not by AI.
We had our second TB test and we have lost 18 animals. The location of these animals means we believe the cause to be something other than bought-in animals, but I can’t be sure until we get more evidence. One bulling heifer has had no contact with either cows or bulls. We will have a hole in our numbers, and if we hadn’t of topped up with bought-in heifers and were on four-year testing, we could have ended up in big trouble.
We are nearly at an end of the out-wintering crops, with the cows on a poor field of stubble turnips. The other crops did well with 19.2t/ha DM for the fodder beet and 10t/ha DM for the kale. Grass for the fresh calvers average cover is as we left it at 2050kg/ha DM.
Livestock Farmer Focus: Clyde Jones