Farmer Focus: Fortnightly vet visits improve 100-day preg rates

Today I am dazzled by the bright sunlight and believe it or not, there’s no rain… how much better does it feel when the sun’s out and sky’s blue?

Yesterday we saw the winter’s first snowfall and we have a dusting of white on the fells. 

Read more from our other livestock farmer focus writers 

We are trying to keep ourselves positive, I think this is key at the moment as trading conditions are so hard.

However, I would like to issue a warning for any would be “know it all” wanting to advise me on how to be more efficient.

I would like to challenge these people to try to cope on the wages earned 20 years ago, while enduring the inflated costs of today.  Rant over.

Moving on, with silage quality not great this year, cows are a good litre down on last year’s production figures, and with prices as they are I am very hesitant to make it up with concentrates.

But with solids looking good coming into winter, our fats are averaging 5.63% and protein 3.85%. This may help slow down the price erosion.

We are doing our best to review diet costs, as our feed bills represent the largest part of our expenses in our accounts.

We have started feeding Trafford Gold this winter at 6kg a cow to cut out expensive blends.

We have also introduced chopped or ground straw through a tub grinder. This is to introduce more fibre into the diet, which has helped the milk solids.

Scanning is looking good for November, with 10 PD’d in-calf and three not in-calf. 

We have now gone on to fortnightly visits from the vet.

Any cows not seen bulling or not served within the first 60 days get presented to the vet, who will synchronise them either by injection, or by progesterone-releasing intravaginal device (PRID). This has helped with gaining more pregnancies before 100 days.

Further to the above vet checks we are have a small problem with digital dermatitis, so in an effort to control this we are foot bathing the cows five days a week in formalin.

Finally, we are looking forward to a happy Christmas and a bright and positive New Year.

Adrian Harrison farms 81ha in partnership with his father Maurice in Wensleydale, Yorkshire. He runs 130 pedigree Jersey cows with 70 followers.