Farmer Focus: Clean-up in preparation for open days

Selection of the bulling heifers has taken place. Those selected have made the grade on weight and pelvic measurement.

They have started their vaccination programme and also received their cobalt, copper, selenium and iodine bolus. They are vaccinated against leptospirosis, BVD and lungworm.

The lambs are growing well, however, we are keeping an eye on them for nematodirus. As and when they need drenching they will also receive cobalt and selenium. At eight weeks old they will receive a cobalt, iodine and selenium bolus.

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The wholecrop of barley/vetch under sown with red clover and high sugar grasses went in at the beginning of May into very dry conditions. The rain arrived just in time and they were up and through in ten days.

Open days

Sheds are being mucked out as the cattle are being turned out. The team are doing a tremendous job on the tidy up, especially as we have two open day this coming week.

One with AHDB Beef and Lamb on key performance indicators. The second is with Dovecote Park, looking at the forage protein being grown, our soil and cattle.

The hens are starting to range a bit more confidently now. It is fantastic to see them out.

The trees are growing nicely, as are the ranges, which has now highlighted the next problem – how to manage the grass growth on the range, especially the fields in red clover, which have just shot away. The trees need to establish before we can graze the ranges.

We are now getting into a routine with the hens. I tend to go up there first thing to check all is in order with an initial walk round.

This is definitely the better option compared to getting the children up and ready for the day. Twelve-thousand hens are easier to manage than a six- and four-year-old.

Simon Bainbridge farm a 650ha upland organic farm with 160 suckler cows, 1,500 breeding ewes and 12,000 organic laying hens with his wife, Claire and his parents. Healthy, maternal livestock and quality feed is a priority.