Fertiliser (phosphate, potash and nitrogen) has been spread on all the cereals and the grassland; Those fields which had an early application may have some more fertilizer in the next few weeks depending on whether we get enough rain. All the arable fields have had an application of herbicide to kill the weeds and the wheat and winter barley have had their 1st application of fungicide to prevent fungal diseases such as Mildew, Rust and Septoria.
Because of the hot, dry conditions the spring barley is already suffering from drought stress which is very unusual so early. The sugar beet are at the cotyledon stage (pre true leaves) the true leaves should be coming through very soon. The 1st batch of pheasant eggs have been set in the incubator more will be set weekly for 6 weeks.
The Cattle numbers are at an all year high with about 200 heads. This is because nearly all the calves have been born and none of last year’s calves have been sold at our main outlet, Colchester Market. Most of the commercial cows and their calves have been turned out to grass. When cows are with their calves they can occasionally be aggressive, especially to dogs so please keep Fido under control.
Curly, Swirly and Whirly update
Curly and Whirly have been turned out to the grass along with the other cows and calves. While Swirly is now on the field behind the house, Josie is still bottle feeding her and she is drinking 16 pints of milk a day. It takes her less than 1 minute to drink 8 pints of milk! We make the milk up by mixing milk powder with warm water. Josie is now feeding five bottle lambs because sadly one ewe died for no apparent reason leaving two extra lambs to be reared artificially.
Open Farm Sunday 7 June 2009
Along with many other farms across the country we will be welcoming the public to Bridges Farm. Come and see all the animals, as well as cows and calves, ewes and lambs there will be hens and chicks, the quail of course and possibly some kittens. Entry to the event is free and refreshments will be provided by The Friends of Kersey School.