Livestock Farmer Focus:Robert Neill’s bulls have undergone their yearly MOT

We’ve been busy recently digging out stones on our permanent pasture, which has enabled us to disc the areas and reseed with our grass harrows and air seeder.

The permanent pasture is overdue a reseed as there is little or no growth in some areas. This work was all going well until a large stone was missed and the discs found it, resulting in a broken shaft.

Grazing cattle have all settled down well since turnout. We had a busy day injecting them with long acting wormer into their ears. This year the job was made easier by using a head scoop on the front of the cattle crush – a piece of equipment borrowed from Jac’s brother, Jim. This head scoop is also helpful when restraining cattle for clipping before going to market – hopefully Jim isn’t in a hurry to get it back.

Bulls have been turned out with bulling heifers and have also undergone their yearly MOT – feet trimmed and semen tested. We currently have the use of a prototype turnover crate which has eased the foot-trimming procedure. The crate was supplied by a local company looking for feedback on how well it worked and any areas for improvement.

We have started a feed trial on 52 steers. They have been split into two groups and are both being fed ad-lib cereals, with one group also receiving yeast in their feed. All animals have to be weighed every fortnight so we can analyse daily live weight gains.

Our new access trailer has been well used since we took delivery of it. As well as the visiting school children we have also had visits from various farm groups.

Among all this Jac also managed to finish the Edinburgh marathon on another hot sunny day. She has now set her sights on the New York marathon.

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