Big push to get 3 litres fed in 2 hrs
Spring is in the air. I heard recently that a hedgehog had come out of hibernation a month earlier than he should have due to the mildness. He was being told to go back to sleep for another month. We would all love to be told that.
There are 23 cows and heifers calved. I have three that retained the cleanings, which is annoying and expensive. Two of these were heifers. They had normal calvings but didn't clean. These will be examined at 10-14 days. I will wash them out with an iodine wash if I can or use a wash out with alamysin and water (15-45cc).
I have had a lot of Friesian bull calves. Thankfully they are easily sold at good money. On average, I am getting €150 for them at two weeks old. It's getting to the stage where a heifer calf is a surprise. I'm making a big effort to get the three litres of colostrum into each calf within the recommended two hours. So far so good.
The cow that calves between midnight and 4am takes effort and dedication. I learned a few weeks back to always store plenty of colostrum in the freezer.
On Wednesday, I dumped the six litres out of the freezer from last year which was never used and replaced it with this year's.
On Friday, I got a phonecall looking for some colostrum, which I had. On the Sunday morning, I had a cow calved that couldn't stand up. She pulled a ligament. I had to make a phonecall looking for colostrum, which I got and duly fed. It taught me to fill the freezer and always be prepared for the unexpected. By the way, I always use the two-litre plastic milk cartons to store colostrum as they are easy to thaw out.
The Profit Monitors for our discussion group have been done and dusted for another year. Broadly it was a positive year, but while everybody got on well, we could have done better.
My own herd's milk solids per cow was 461kg; per hectare it was 1,075kg. My net profit/ha was €2,281. This figure is a good measuring tool as it encompasses milk yield, number of cows, net profit/litre and actual milking platform.