Discussion groups bogged down in paperwork
No sooner has one calving season ended than we start preparing for the next one with the start of the breeding season. The bull was introduced to the cows last Tuesday and the plan is to start calving around the middle to the end of February next year.
Both the cows and the bull are in good condition without being over-fat.
I want to try ensure as compact a calving as possible and this is one reason why the cows have been on very good grass for the past number of weeks. I believe that, like the ewes, when the cow is flushed with a higher quality of nutrition such as good quality spring grass she starts to cycle.
The bull himself is fit and in good condition so he can afford to lose weight during the breeding season if needs be.
I will check the cows twice a day and record the breeding activity in the animal events recording notebook from the ICBF. Recording the information can be useful as it helps the scanning man with dates and later on it helps with picking out cows for calving especially as some sucklers don't make over big udders and it can be hard to judge calving dates.
But the most important benefit is that it shows if there are too many repeats, which in itself tells you there is a problem somewhere. By spotting it early in the breeding season the problem might be solved.
As farmers we probably should do a little more recording of our work and activities and this might be as simple as writing it into a note book or diary as we walk the fields.
With excellent grass growth and ideal grazing condition over the last number of weeks, it has been an easy start to the grazing season.