Sudocream works a treat on the calves after dehorning
The last week has been focused on getting the cattle and cows out to grass. There will be a number of animals left inside. The 10 remaining cows left to calf will stay inside as it is easier to observe them. They should all be calved by the early days of May.
In addition to the in-calf cows, there is batch of forward beef bullocks that will be left on their high meal diet and be finished out of the shed in May. I am not going to turn these out to grass as they are too near being finished and I would run the risk of them going backwards for a few weeks if the weather turns cold and wet.
It is great to see the sheds emptying out and the feeding coming to an end, albeit it has not been too hard a winter.
With the calving nearly finished I am very happy with the way it progressed, with no major incidents. A serious effort has been put into getting the calves' debudded before they are let outside. It is easier on both man and beast, as once let out to grass with their mothers, calves can get strong quite quickly and even with all the best intentions the job can sometimes be left on the long finger.
The new dehorning crate that I bought a number of years ago is a great job and makes the task a lot easier. This is a heavy duty crate targeted for the suckler calf with a rump bar and a belly support. This way the calf is fully restrained and safe.
The dehorn itself is a hand-held gas device and works off a refilled cylinder. It's robustly made with its own ignition and heats to about 700 degrees in a matter of minutes.
Again, I find this machine handy and safe as there are no cables or gas bottle. The debudding of the calves is one job I like to see done right.
After I have the calf debudded I fill the horn bud with sudocream as it is an antiseptic cream. Yes you did read correctly, I first saw this on a farm walk and decided to try it myself. It works great by cooling the head and it stays in place for a few days stopping the wind from affecting the head on these windy April days.