Down on the Farm - May

Colin Williamson
Colin Williamson

With Colin Williamson

Much as I enjoy the sunshine and dry weather, the stock enjoy it too, being able to walk to the field, lay down in the field and it be dry and warm - during the day anyway.

We have a lot of very keen frosts at night not the minus 10ºC to 12ºC degrees of December and January but enough to crisp and blue the grass.

Only thing is after a couple of months of dry and cold nights the grass only grows very slow and for all we’ve had the cows out a good while now, everything else has been kept in, with the dairy cows eating their grass (seemed a good idea as the milk is a saleable product not that the dairies are willing to pay more than a pittance for a very good product.)

The heavy rain showers this last week were very much appreciated even though the artificial fertiliser had been applied the grass and cereals certainly needed a drink and have grown a lot this last week with the moisture and uptake of nutrients.

The young stock and suckler cows are now going out with the feed for them now just about all gone, I have never seen our silage pit with so little silage left in.

By the time first cut silage comes round we will be down to counting by the barrow load as we are still feeding the diary cows half their winter ration every day.

With the suckler cows going out as they calve it makes it easier to catch the calves and tag them before they are too wick and run off like jack rabbits when they see you coming. Also if the cow needs a little assistance in calving that’s a lot easier in the shed where she can’t keep going to the side of the field away from you.

These are all in calf to the blonde bull who was just three years old in April and at the moment running with a batch of blonde heifers, in the shed on loose housing rather than cubicle.

When Robert was up doing year-end valuation we decided it was about time to part company with him as the heifer put in calf this year are his own daughters so it would be better to use an unrelated bull on them.

Shame really as we haven’t had a bad calving due to the size of the calf, either on the Friesian Holstein or the Blondes and he’s no different from any other blonde in that most go a fortnight over the due date.

So we are aiming for the next suckler cow sale beginning of June, the 1st I think.

After a year long wait we finally got a peahen, an Indian Blue, to go with the peacock who has been chasing the hens around the yard for a year or so now. After a short introduction we let her out into the hayshed with him. She can’t have been too impressed as she only stayed two or three days and now she has gone missing.

She is bigger than a hen pheasant similar colour on the back with lighter coloured breast with bluish neck feathers with five or six feathers that stand up on the top of her head.

If anyone sees her please get in touch, as it’s a mystery as to where she has gone or which direction.