Monday, 24 March 2014

Spring Turn Out at Last!

We have finally turned our cows out during the day, this weekend.  With the spring sunshine on their backs, it is always a joy to watch, as all our lady cows kick up their heels and race about the field, mooing to each other and excited to see fresh grass again. Milk production will be down a bit as a result!

Although we had the coldest night last night, with a hard frost first thing this morning.  But the sun always comes through and melts it all away by the time we finished morning milking.

We are two weeks away from our now annual TB testing of the whole herd.  So all our baby calves, yearling heifers and some dry cows are still inside the sheds.  Once we've done the test and the reading 4 days later, they will be wormed, vaccinated and turned out into fresh pasture for the summer.  They can't wait, nor can we!

On the look out for TWO new bulls.  Sadly, our first bull Mulberry is no longer required.  We have to sell him as the next lot of heifers need to be bulled this summer, are all his daughters!  We've been bull shopping this weekend, to see a Ayrshire breeder in Norfolk, who may let us know when one of his cows delivers a bull calf.  We may buy a very young bull calf and rear it on our farm ready for next year.  We still need two for this summer even though we've got Mulberry's replacement, Windfall on farm now.  It's very technical this breeding lark you know!

Just to catch up with the family.  Charlotte has finished working in Oz after six wonderful months and has moved to a large dairy farm (1300 cows) in North Island, New Zealand, where  she's working looking after children and horses for the farmer and his wife.  They are, of course, coming into Autumn and Winter months ahead.  They are a hunting family and are happy for Charlotte to hunt too.  She has her mount Max, a ex Show Jumper and very comfortable ride!  I've got to post out to her, her hunting jacket and boots!

Harry is away in Cheshire, still at Agricultural College.  He's home most weekends and works very hard when he is home.  Last weekend, he spread tons and tons of two year old well rotted manure over the silage fields, to fertilise them.  And again this weekend, he's muck carting from the yards at the farm, to the muckheap in the fields, so it can degrade and rot over the summer and hopefully, be spread before winter.

Our bag fertiliser has arrived too, 45 tonnes and we've also invested in a second hand fertiliser spinner for the tractor.  Harry and his granddad, are hoping to put that on next weekend.  It's all go, go, go.

So, as you can see, even though some of the stock are outside during the day, making life easier on the stocking front, there's so much more to do now that the ground has dried up and grass is starting to grow.

Only job for me to do now, is go out there and walk the fields, measuring the grass growth.  Someone's got to do it!

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