The calves have been weaned from their mothers, wormed and trimmed. We worm them to protect them from external and internal parasites. It is a pour on wormer and it is the only regular chemical treatment we use on the cattle. We trim a line down their backs so that they don’t get too hot and sweat too much. When they sweat their hair gets matted and doesn’t look very nice. Also if they lose heat it increases their appetite therefore they will eat more and put on more weight. When the rain finally came the calves mothers were turned back out onto the new growth of autumn grass. They will be housed soon. We have had eight pedigree calves out of a small early calving group. Three of them were by embryo transfer but sadly one was born dead.
Most of the sheep will be in lamb now so in 21 weeks, which is the gestation period of a sheep, we will be busy lambing.
The shed is a bit behind schedule and now we are aiming to get it finished before Christmas. The gates and feed barriers have arrived and we have started putting them up. We have about 180 holes to drill and then we need to bolt on the hinges and latches. We have got most of the concreting done, the concrete is 150mm thick and it is reinforced with steel mesh.
Ploughing is in full swing for the spring drilled crops (sugar beet, spring barley and spring beans) because if the land is ploughed in November or December it receives frosty weather which breaks the soil up and will make a better seed bed in the spring.
We have had to apply a selective pesticide to the barley to kill the aphids that create and spread Barley Yellow Dwarf Virus (BYDV). This virus reduces the potential yield of the crops.
The second field of sugar beet has been harvested and because of the open autumn (mild and not too wet) we were able to plough and then drill with wheat straight away. The sugar beet yield looks good.
The shoot continues well, we now have plenty of oven ready pheasants and partridges available for sale.