Our Farm: Doing a few small jobs now will make winter feeding run smooth
It's hard to believe that the winter is just around the corner, but the dry weather we have experienced in this part of the country in the past few weeks has been excellent for grass utilisation and the stock seem to be contented.
In saying that, we have about one month of grass ahead of the cattle. Most of them are on the last rotation of their grazing area and will be housed as the grass runs out.
The plan is not to graze the fields too tight. The ewes will come in handy at this time of year to finish out any butt of grass that may be left around the farm, in a bid to keep them outside until Christmas.
Most of the winter housing is ready at this stage. The JCB - being the main feeding machine for the winter - probably needs a good service, including the changing of oil and filters.
It also needs a few new tines put on the grab as some of the old ones are loose or have worn short. These few little jobs will make the winter feeding run more smoothly.
I have introduced the high magnesium buckets to the cows in the last week to hopefully combat any grass tetany. Adding magnesium to the drinking water was not an option as one batch of cows has access to a stream from which to drink.
I find that the buckets have worked well on the farm over the last number of years. It's a cheap and easy way of doing it.
Like anything in farming, again, the golden rule is prevention - and better to put them out before you lose a cow. The buckets have a 12pc magnesium content and are suitable where sheep are grazing side by side.