Farmer Focus: Changeable weather brings pneumonia threat

There has been plenty going on here at Glen Farm since my last article.

We are fully stocked with calves again – a mixture of dairy/Wagyu and dairy/Angus with a pen full of Friesian bull calves too.

It’s very interesting to see how the different types behave and grow differently and we’ve been tailoring feed programmes to suit.

See also: Read more from the livestock farmer focus writers 

The weather has been rather changeable of late, which has contributed to some pneumonia problems. With the help of the vet and a few modifications to the shed these have hopefully been brought under control.

Fast action and attention to detail are essential to animal health and a successful enterprise. Livestock farming can be rather stressful at times but also very rewarding.

The next plan is to acquire some ad-lib feeders and improve handling facilities to help make the job a bit easier and free up time.

Ewe lambs are looking well, having been sheared and bolused with trace elements. Most should make tupping weight (44kg) and will go to the ram early December on the plantain crop for two cycles.

We will be giving the main flock a second shear shortly ahead of bolusing them and flushing on silage aftermath.

They are currently away grazing HLS ground and doing a great job of tidying it up. I’m looking forward to condition scoring them and seeing how well they scan early next year.

I went to the Innovis sale up in Cumbria to buy some more Aberfield and Abermax rams. Trade was very good, as was the quality of the farmers who were buying.

There seem to be a good proportion of farmers in the sheep sector who are beginning to open their eyes and become more progressive.

I believe that sharing knowledge with other farmers and making decisions and purchases based on facts and figures is the only way to safeguard the industry and be sustainable.

I was also lucky enough to have a look around some fantastic farms up there and across the border and came home full of enthusiasm with some new stock and new ideas.

Jim Beary contract rears 900 calves a year and has a growing flock of Aberfield-cross New Zealand Romneys on a county council farm. He also runs a contract gritting enterprise in winter