John Gordon: Better weather has allowed me to empty the cattle courts

We’ve had three weeks of good weather – a touch of frost and some sunny days. This has allowed us to empty all our cattle courts without making a mess – other than yours truly bending a gate with the loadall.

The bulls have been with the autumn calvers for 10 weeks and these cows and calves have now moved onto the slats with the cows due to calve going into courts prior to calving.

The latter have all been treated for lice, and apart from the obvious early calvers, they have also received Rotavec.

I said last month about the low incidence of pneumonia. I should have kept my mouth shut! We’ve now had the vet to treat two batches of 30 calves. Thankfully they have responded well and are now thriving again.

We decided to sell 55 cattle a month early as straw prices were still creeping up and we are short on silage. We were well pleased as steers averaged over £2/kg grossing £800.

Now the better weather has come the straw price has slipped and we’ve had three people on the phone wanting to sell. I’m fairly sure there will now be plenty of straw available so we’ll not be panic buying – hopefully prices will return to normal.

Ewes scanned well at 195 per cent. With only 30 empty ewes out of 865, we are very pleased given the weather at tupping. We were generous to the ewes so thankfully they have repaid us.

They are in reasonable condition and have been batched up into four groups; singles, triplets and thin twins, first tupped twins and later lambers. Our sheds hold 400 ewes so the triplets and first tupped twins will be housed shortly.

I was recently appointed vice-chairman of our local NFU, they must have been struggling for a nominee. I had been critical of the NFU so rather than commenting from the sidelines I decided I’d best get off my backside and try and do something about it.

I would urge others, especially those critical of the union, to join up too – the more the merrier and the louder our voice.

Finally, our discussion group visited a local egg producer. It gave us a great insight into how this sector operates, and the day was rounded off (and the next day started) with a steak and a few drams – a great day out.

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