John Gordon: I’ve a bull suffering a libido problem, and another 10-year-old who works part-time

CALF sales have gone well with 90 sold to average £860 – up £140 on last year. The calves were also an average of 30kg heavier and we can only wish good luck to the buyers and hope they will be back next year.

We’ve kept 20 smaller steers at an average of 390kgs to sell in January off the slats. We should perhaps take the money now but have decided on a bit of a gamble.

Spring cows and calves are now housed. We try to bring them in 3-4 weeks before weaning to help reduce both stress and hopefully, pneumonia. The calves are eating about 2kg/head per day of a barley and wheat dark grain mix and they are looking well. There is a temptation to also sell them now but we’ll stick to our system and sell them in the spring.

Ad-lib silage

We have only six cows out of 116 left to calf. All cows outside are eating ad-lib silage with minerals. Bulling will commence in the middle of November so we must make sure they on a rising plane of nutrition prior to this.

Bulls are a real trouble for us at the moment. I previously told of our fatality and we’ve also got one lame bull and one with a libido problem along with a 10-year-old who only works part-time. We do have two other young bulls but it looks like I’ll be buying another this autumn at the bull sales.

Sheep have also caused their share of problems this month. While checking feet we discovered about 50 ewes with CODD. They were all put through an antibiotic footbath. Heaven knows where the infection came from.

Our farm trial with a trace element drench on finishing lambs has been interesting. We have sold 400 lambs, 250 of which did not receive the drench, only 150 of the lambs which did receive the drench were ready. You could argue it has held them back; anyway, we won’t be using it again.

Our 71 acres of Decanter yielded 185 tonnes. Of that, 85 tonnes has gone off farm, averaging 1.77N at £138/tonne. The remaining 100 tonnes were rolled and propcorned for our own use – 400 bales of straw have been carted home, so we’re almost ready for winter. But we’re not in any rush, and a few weeks of nice autumn weather would be good for everyone.

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