Solid start to calving as the work loads cranks up a notch
SINCE 4 I have calved 18 cows with a mix of nine heifers and nine bulls. There hasn't been too many problems yet apart from the very first animal to calve which was a heifer who held her cleanings.
I hoped this wasn't the start of trouble but no more have held cleanings since. I noticed a big variation in the length of time cows are carrying overdue.
Some cows have calved 5-6 days before their due date and everything very normal. One cow carried 17 days over her due date and calved a very normal heifer calf.
There was also a problem calf that only lasted three days as it was unable to pass any dung. After birth all calves are fed up to 3l of colostrum with a stomach tube.
I have used some from the freezer as it can be difficult to get colostrum from a heifer's first visit to the milking parlour.
The heifer calves are also getting fresh calf crunch after seven days. Demand for Friesian bull calves isn't great so far.
I've just finished the second cut pit and opened the first cut silage pit last Monday. It looks and smells good and tested well. Its drymatter is 26pc, crude protein is 13.5pc, drymatter digestibility (DMD) was 77, ME 11.8 and a pH of 3.8.
This was despite the fact it wasn't cut until June. I suspect it was a result of poor grass growth last April and May. I had been dealing with a lot wetter second cut silage that scored 17pc drymatter; crude protein 12.9pc; DMD 69; ME 10.6; and a pH of 4.3.