Farmer Focus Livestock: Robert Neill hosts cattle open day

Last Tuesday we hosted a Safe Handling of Cattle open day which was organised by SAC.

There were three “stations” demonstrating different aspect of cattle handling. With the help of our staff, Tommy and Ian, I demonstrated cattle weighing in conjunction with EID to show the benefits and the ease of handling cattle in a squeeze crush.

The other two “stations” were manned by SAC staff. They discussed building and designing your own cattle handling pens; and maternal temperament of cows and their offspring.

To try to get this final point over I suggested going to the maternity ward at our local hospital and taking away a newborn baby. The reaction of the mother would probably be similar to that of a cow having her newborn calf taken away – you would probably be flattened.

It has been vaccination time again at Upper Nisbet with all the calves having received their first pneumonia vaccine along with their pour on wormer. Hopefully the good weather will last to the end of the month which will postpone the job of weaning cows and calves for a bit longer. This helps to make the winter a bit shorter. All of the finishing cattle are inside and settling down to their winter ration, with all the forward ones now onto add-lib cereals. Getting the cattle onto ad-lib cereals takes a lot of patience otherwise you end up with “drunk” cattle or even worse – a bill from the knackery men.

It is good to see store cattle and lambs are selling well this autumn. It is certainly giving the breeders a boost and the confidence to go out and reinvest in new blood lines, either in the form of new stock bulls/tups or replacement females.

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