Farmer Focus: Poultry plans continue

Well the heavens have opened, the winds are blowing and it’s snowing.  The forecast is set to improve, but after such a glorious autumn this weather has woken everyone up. 

See also: Read more from the livestock farmer focus writers

We have been so lucky with the groundworks for the new layers building and most of the construction of the external building has gone to plan.  Yesterday we were pouring the final half of the floor, but with the rain blowing in, certain areas are struggling to set. 

We had built a wall of straw bales to try to protect the doorways, but just succeeded in blowing in straw!  JJ McEwan and both the teams from Morspan and Connop have done a fantastic job so far.  No pressure on the rest of the teams set to arrive.

The tups go out on Thursday.  With the amount of rain we have had I am wondering whether they should all have a set of armbands.  They’ve all had their MOT, so should hopefully do the job.  Tups will stay out for 34 days. 

We have more fat lambs going away this week, and by the you read this, we will have had over 75% of the May born lambs away fat or selected for breeding.  The remaining lambs will be going onto the brassicas this week.  For us this has been a good year with the lambs finishing well. 

When we opened the pit the silage looked fine, but the analysis results were disappointing. However, it is feeding better than it analysed.

We have just put some land drains in on part of the poultry range, which used to sit quite wet.  This will be the first drainage we have done as a business since 1984/5.  After last night’s rain the drains are running quite hard. 

As a business we may have to start pushing the farm harder and doing more drainage to increase productivity.  If payments are to decrease or cease, productivity will have to increase and that comes at a cost – not just financial.