Farmer Focus Livestock: Iain Green completes TB testing

I hope you had an enjoyable Christmas and I wish you all a happy and prosperous new year.

We have had several days of severe frost and with temperatures at -8C, we’ve had the task of thawing frozen pipes to allow livestock to get water.

During this summer I decided to modify one of our cattle buildings, but after a long-drawn-out harvest, time passed by, so changes didn’t start until mid-October. However, after a lot of hard work, we now have an outside feed passage with a large concrete trough and 81 self-catching yolks.

The building is now divided by a passage with bunkers, half of which are fitted with self-catching yolks. The yolks are luxury and after just finishing TB-testing all our adult cattle, they worked a treat and it was definitely easier on both man and beast.

After seeing the success of the feeding passage in terms of saving in bedding, I intend to install another one inside behind the bunkers.

Thankfully, the weak pound is preventing large volumes of imported pork coming into the UK, so our price is holding. However, although cereal feed prices are more than half last year’s, all other costs have risen, preventing us from getting the returns to ease the pain of the past two years.

Lambs have been moved down from our upland unit and were put straight onto a field of young grass sown in August. Half of them have already gone away fat. Their average weight has been only 42kg and although I would have liked them to be 3kg to 4kg heavier, they haven’t had any concentrates. But with only one field of young grass left and the recent frosts, grass is disappearing and I am happy to let them go.

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