Louis Baugh and his wife
farm 186ha (460 acres) at
Neatishead Hall and 91ha
(225 acres) at Beech Farm
near Norwich in Norfolk.
About 100 autumn calving
Holstein Friesian cows and
followers are grazed on
Broads ESA marshes with
forage from Italian ryegrass
THE recent dry spell finally ended with 5cm (2in) of rainfall. This caused a rush to complete projects timetabled for winter housing.
Our cubicle house had new cubicle divisions last year. Phase two was to modify the feed fence, the head rail being too low rubbed cows necks. This has been replaced with a steel cable inside a plastic pipe set 25cm (10in) higher, at 129.5cm (51in), while the feed trough boards have also been raised to 61cm (24in).
When we replaced our cubicles we sacrificed 12 beds to allow for extra access to points onto the feed passage, eliminating the dead ends our central access points gave us. These new gateways have now been fitted with water tanks.
The roof of the cubicle shed is quite low and when fully stocked the air can be very stagnant. To improve the ventilation we have had the roof sheet joints cut, resulting in immediate improvements in the air quality.
Maize silage was made on Oct 11 and our winter feeding strategy has been determined. We delayed our feed purchase decisions much later than normal because feed prices continued to fall with stock feed carrots being offered to us free. The exception was soya which we covered for the early winter. Its price has firmed due to old crop shortages and the expected bumper new crop meeting with record demand.
On a lighter note, we have just had the herd HFS classification carried out by David Hewitt, and were most pleased to have two heifers go VG. Just as he was finishing he walked past one of our water tanks and was most surprised to see our colourful cleaning devices swimming around – goldfish!
However, a moment later he was amazed to see my dog Guinness sitting by the tank with one in her mouth. She was looking at him expectantly trying to catch his attention. She is black-and-white and thought she ought to be classified too! But she didnt catch the fish, it had leapt out and she decided to pick it up as she went past. *
Two of Louis Baughs heifers have just been classified by HFS as VG.