Colin’s farming column

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Why isn’t it spring yet after nearly two months of very harsh conditions in which we and the cows fared really well.

I didn’t alter the ration at all, maybe when they had eaten the trough out, I gave them a bit extra silage and they carried on milking just as well.

Shame the dairy’s don’t want to pay us a decent price for a litre of milk and I really wonder what is going on when I read that a bottle of water is selling for more than milk does.

I’m finding now after cows had been walking on the frozen surface, ever so many have bruised feet and are walking very tenderly on the concrete, the blonde bull who is now a very big lad and not to be messed with is limping I bathed his feet a couple of days ago while he was lying in the cubicles I thought maybe he would let me take the hoof knife and trim his toes while he was lying down but he was having none of that.

With the very dry summer last year and feed stocks at very low level before winter started so early, hay, silage and straw for that matter is bringing exceedingly high prices and that money will never be recouped by the sale of milk or beef, and for many it is more a question do we buy expensive feed or sell the animals on a depressed markets as buyers are short of feed too.

I paid a high price for some wheat straw which was just delivered last week trying to stack it all inside was a problem, I didn’t want to have it wasting outside in the rain when it’s so expensive, with a bit of a shoe horn job I got it in and still managed to get round to feed stock at the back of the shed.

I had bought a wagon load of straw at a charity auction last June and hadn’t seen anything of it I was beginning to think maybe it was going to be an expensive donation but sure enough just when I couldn’t put any more in the shed the following day in lands this other load of straw it just had to go outside but I will say a big thank you to Martin Stevenson for his most generous donation to Marra’s charity auction where all the proceeds go to the air ambulance.

I am at the moment trying to get lambing quarters sorted out for the pedigree Suffolk’s as they are only about a fortnight away from lambing now and looking very heavy some of them, they have been on hay and blocks since the snow came but away from the house, so we are now getting them closer to home with a small shed for cover which will be very important to the survival of the lambs.