Tuesday, May 30, 2023
HomeFarmlifeJames Herrick: 'Cattle ought to be useful, not flashy'

James Herrick: ‘Cattle ought to be useful, not flashy’

This text has caught me proper in the midst of calving. Effectively I say “the center” however we’re at present 4 weeks in, with 75% of the cows calved and with little or no intervention from ourselves. Simply the way in which I prefer it.

We calve in a spring block. We begin in the beginning of March for 12 weeks, which is able to quickly be decreased to 9, now we’ve got nearly all of our cows calving in the beginning of our block.

I hold toying with the concept of dropping the sample again a few weeks to make higher use of the grass development curve and finer climate, enabling us to get calves out of yards right away.

See additionally: James Herrick – recollections of my grandad and a bygone period

Concerning the writer

James Herrick

James Herrick relies on his household’s suckler beef and arable farm in Leicestershire. A passionate conservationist, he’s eager on utilizing know-how to maximise agriculture’s profitability and reduce its affect on the setting. Away from the farm he likes to compete in triathlons and endurance races.

Cattle ought to be useful and never flashy (a bit like myself), so these which can be capable of calve on their very own are actually a winner for me.

We appear to have change into accustomed to having to “pull” calves or carry out caesareans, which is a trait that may by no means be tolerated within the large-scale cattle farming nations such because the US or Canada.

In these nations, they’d typically have 750-1,000 cows to 1 particular person and the considered having to help a cow at delivery wouldn’t even cross their thoughts.

Some might imagine we’re lucky to have the manpower to be within the place to assist, nonetheless it’s additionally a state of affairs we’ve got put ourselves in.

We now have used estimated breeding values to decide on our sires for greater than 10 years now and it’s a software we’d by no means be with out.

It has allowed us to pick bulls that calve simply with out compromising on development charges for our ending cattle, or maternal traits for our replacements.

Regardless of the latest rain, we’ve got additionally been capable of get all of our cows with calves at foot, and our cows left to calve, out to grass, which is a good reduction after final yr’s decrease silage yields.

All I hope now could be that the ultimate 25% of animals proceed in the identical vein as the primary 75%, permitting us to make preparations for bulling as soon as extra.

In spite of everything, calving isn’t completed till the cow is again in-calf once more.



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