Sugar beet

The remaining sugar beet have now been harvested.  They had been frost damaged in the extremely cold weather in January, damaged sugar beet won’t store and will go rotten if left in a heap for too long.   Since we had to wait for the hauliers to be available we had to harvest in wet conditions and therefore the roads got quite muddy.  We brushed the roads regularly during harvesting and cleaned up as best as we could afterwards. 

By Royal Appointment to H.M.!!!

Recently Dad sold a British Blue bull called Kersey David to The Royal Farms at Windsor.  The bull is going to be used as a “sweeper” on the Royal Jersey dairy herd.   Sweepers are used on problem cows that do not get in calf to artificial insemination, because natural service is more successful than A.I.  Dad is very pleased because the bull is the first to come out of the new shed.  We drove down to Windsor with the bull in the livestock trailer.  While there we were shown the Royal Farm’s new robotic milking system.  The cows have electronic tags which the machine reads to identify her.  If the cow has not been milked in the last 4 hours then a portion of food is released and the milking process begins.  First the teats are cleaned using a laser guided brush.  Then the clusters are placed on the teats using a robotic arm and a laser.  The milk is pumped into a small tank and tested for disease and any other problems before being pumped into the main tank.  They have 2 robotic milking machines each costing around £80,000 each. 

Calving and lambing

Since the beginning of February we have had 10 calves born with around 40 more due from now to the end of April.  We had a group of early lambs which are all getting on well, hopefully some will be good enough to take to the summer shows.  Lambing is due to start on the 10th of March, the ewes have been given a pre lambing vaccination.  This is so that when the lambs are born the first milk they drink (colostrum) contains lots of antibodies to strengthen the lamb’s immune system.  This is known as passive immunity as it is passed from mother to lamb. 

Quail

With the help of Tim, the game keeper David and I have set 360 quail eggs in the big incubator and they are hatching as I type this!  More about this next month...