FARMER FOCUS: Vaccinations for a healthy herd

At last we have made a start to the spring sowing, with a field of barley being drilled straight in behind the plough. Nitrogen has been applied to the winter cereals, silage ground and the grass fields we could get on, write Bob and Kay Adam.

The remainder of the turnips are harvested, providing a much-needed enhancement to the hill ewe’s diet. They are just about to start lambing and with grass scarce the “neeps” will hopefully keep the milk and condition on the ewes.

Our two sons have been on school holidays; well timed to help out with the spring work. The hill Blackface and Cheviot stock ewe hoggs have been vaccinated for clostridia diseases and scab as well as being wormed and a pour on applied to control ticks. They are now back up on the glen from their wintering at Glamis. They didn’t make it straight out to the hill as snow drifts still blocked a lot of the gateways.

The young cattle have had their BVD and Lepto vaccinations and the heifer calves have had a marker IBR jab as well. We’re a closed herd and members of the SAC premium cattle health scheme. Being involved in a health scheme doesn’t come cheap, but hopefully we will be rewarded for our accreditation in the future.

We have sold a couple of breeding bulls this month. For the buyers of the Limousin, studying the bulls and then making the final choice on a chilly, wintry day could have easily been compared to an arctic expedition, resulting in a quick deal over a much needed cup of hot tea.

We also sold a Charolais bull, but had to wait for the snow drifts to disperse to deliver him. Things are definitely becoming very unseasonal around here.

Bob and Kay Adam run 100 pedigree Limousin and Charolais cows on their 222ha family farm in Angus and rent a 728ha hill farm running 640 ewes and 30 suckler cows

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