Calves and yearlings thriving in the sun
During the recent spell of good weather, half of the first-cut silage was harvested in great conditions. Quality and yield can only be described as excellent, with most farmers who have cut silage in the last two weeks reporting similar results.
It is difficult to achieve both as when you aim for yield, quality can be adversely affected.
The grass was cut after midday and left to wilt for 24 hours, so it should preserve very well as it was not affected by rainwater or soil contamination.
The second half of the first cut was closed late due to the bad growing conditions in the spring. It is now jumping out of the ground and should be ready to cut in a fortnight.
Glen, the new Limousin stock bull, is being kept busy with the cows. The cows are being observed twice a day for a number of reasons. Firstly, cows noticed in heat are recorded; these dates will help at scanning time to closer determine calving dates.
Secondly, as the bull is new I am interested in seeing if there are many repeats, which could point to a fertility problem. At the moment only two repeats have been recorded, so I don't think there is anything to get alarmed about.
Thirdly, it will give a rough idea of submission rates. The plan is to keep the cows on a good plain of nutrition (good leafy grass) in the hope that later-calved cows will start to cycle quicker.
The calves and yearlings are thriving and are happy to lay out in the sun as opposed to last year, which saw them sheltering under hedges for most of the summer.