Early grazing looks like just a pipe dream this year -- there's no grass around
As I look out of the window this morning to see the countryside covered with a blanket of snow, I'm thinking it is often the simplest of things that give us the most pleasure and joy. If we stop for a moment, we can relish the calming effect of the white scene before us.
I experienced another lovely moment last week. I walked into Laurence's yard early one morning during the school mid-term break to be met with two of our grandchildren, Lorcan and Ann, coming with two bottles of milk to feed a couple of small calves, who were proving difficult to train.
Despite the early hour, there was great banter between these two children as they competed with each other to finish first. And their job didn't stop with feeding the calves. They then bedded them, and made sure they were warm and comfortable before going back indoors for breakfast.
It was a nostalgic moment, as I remembered their dad Laurence and, indeed, all his brothers display the same enthusiasm as young children. It is so nice to see this carried forward to a new generation.
Anyway, we're now into March and there is no growth whatsoever. Sub-zero temperatures continue almost every night, with very little rise during the daytime. It looks like early grazing across the board will be little more than a pipe dream this year.
The autumn calvers, who were allowed out to graze for a couple of hours daily three weeks ago, are now back inside again because there is no growth behind them. But their short sojourn outdoors served its purpose.
The change did help to get them all actively cycling again and the two breeding bulls were extremely busy accommodating them.
Hopefully, they are all now back in calf, albeit at least three months behind schedule.