Farmer Focus: Finishing touches being made to calf shed

It’s been a fairly up-and-down month regarding the weather. We managed to take our first cut of silage in the second week of May, between the rain.

It has been a little wetter than we would have liked, but it’s in the clamp now and second cut is only two weeks away as I write this (1 June). There looks to be a huge crop of grass following the warm weather in the last week of May.

The maize is pushing on now as well. Quite a lot of it is nearly two feet tall at the start of June, which, following the spring we have had, I am very happy with.

See also: Rising feed costs could restrict milk output

Hopefully it keeps growing at the rate it is and we will have a good crop come September.

All the lambs born from ewes scanned with multiples have been tagged to their mothers, tailed and castrated.

The lambs are looking great and growing like mushrooms with an abundance of grass. It is tricky trying to keep the grass at the optimum quality stage for them.

I expected the ewes to lose a bit of condition through the rough, cold spring. We’ve been pleasantly surprised that the Highlander ewes are moving towards a body condition score of three, if not already there.

These twin-bearing ewes will be shorn, marked and treated with a pour-on to keep ticks at bay and then will be turned onto the fell when we gather the singles and hoggs in for shearing.

Cows are enjoying some first-cut silage in the ration to balance the ration better, and milk yield has risen since adding it in.

They have gone up a litre and are back above 37 litres and still holding butterfat at 4.2%, which I was a little surprised at with the increase in milk yield.

We have been busy building our new calf shed for the past month and a bit.

We are on the finishing stretch and just waiting for the final pieces to arrive and then we will have calves in. I can’t wait to see in the improvements in health it will give us.

There are plenty of pets now, but they are well worth the hassle with current lamb prices.