Poor road conditions delay winter housing
How quickly the weather can change! Early last month it was too wet to leave out cattle and now everywhere is covered in snow.
We have housed two groups of ewes, about 400 in total. The rest are still outside and getting some hay.
These would have been housed, only they are 10 miles from home and cannot be moved because of road conditions. As soon as we get a change in the weather we will move them to fodder beet tops.
The ewes inside are getting three bales of hay a day and are on straw bedding. The hay is fed using a straw chopper that blows the hay or silage into troughs along the passage way.
The bales are loaded on by tractor and loader. It is a simple way of feeding, and one that saves on straw and, more importantly, labour.
The downside of all of this is the initial price of the machine, which can be covered over a few years. However, the price of diesel is becoming a serious cost even on a livestock farm.
The lambs still left to sell are on fodder rape and getting 0.4kg of a barley/citrus mixture. Due to the frost we only move the electric netting when we get a thaw.
These lambs are also getting some silage just left out in heaps in the field. They seem to be thriving well in the dry weather. The rams were all removed on December 4 so no lambs should be born in May.