Farmer Focus: Pleasing pregnancy results

We scanned the heifers and cows and are really pleased with the results – with 160 out of 183 in calf. 

Heifers were bulled for six weeks and 40 out of 45 (88%) are in calf. 

Cows were bulled for only seven weeks and 120 out of 138 (87%) are in calf.  

See also: Read more from our Livestock Farmer Focus writers

With grass dry matter quality and quantity decreasing and the ground conditions turning wet we housed heifers straight after scanning and all the finishing cattle. 

We are now starting to bring in the cows and calves.

Treatment

Calves will be treated for lice and worms, backs clipped out and vaccinated against pneumonia. 

A week later calves will be weaned, housed and fed on red clover silage and undersown wholecrop.

Heifers not in calf went straight on the wagon to Dovecote Park. Not in-calf cows will go as soon as calves are weaned. 

We need to house all the cattle here for ground conditions. We need enough grass to get the sheep through till January when grass typically runs out, and to get then successfully in lamb and a good scanning percentage. 

We’re also now looking to actively manage grass for deferred grazing post scanning for lambing ewes outdoors and for early turnout of cattle.

Tup MoT

Ewes are being tailed ready for the tup at the end of November. They are also receiving a flukicide and mineral bolus. Joe the vet is also coming at the end of the week to MoT the tups. 

Fat lambs are being rotated around the red clover fields and going when they are ready.

They will go round at least once more before going onto the brassicas.

Red clovers will then be shut up for lambing on.

This year we invested heavily in getting rid of the tyres from the silage pits. This was mainly to discourage rats around the farm and the new egg production unit.

We bought woven covers and gravel bags.

We’ve just opened the red clover silage and wholecrop pits and are very pleased with how it looks. Analysis of the silage will come back this week.


Simon Bainbridge farm a 650ha upland organic farm with 150 suckler cows and 1,500 breeding ewes with his wife, Claire and his parents. Healthy, maternal livestock and quality feed is a priority