Sunday, 1 February 2015

Calving 2015: A promising start

Things have finally kicked off on both our farms now!

Cows wintered at the runoff are bagging up, with a wagon booked for next week, to start bringing them home on the point of calving. Hopefully two loads a week, plus our own trailer everyday, will help us keep ahead of the game (famous last words)!

The big news though has been the success of our heifer synchrony programme.

Today, 1st of Feb, is the PSC (planned start of calving) for our heifers with the cows expected from the 10th.

Over the last five days we have calved 12% of the herd, nearly all heifers! Our heifers were synchronised and all served on the same day to an easy calving sire. To have 50% of them calved by their due date, with another 25%-30% bagged up, and expected in the next few days is really pleasing for several reasons:

1. Staff are fresh from our winter break, so we are most able to deal with any calving problems and training heifers in the parlour. Though with a daughter proven, easy calving sire, we have only had to assist one birth so far (touch wood).

2. These animals will have the maximum amount of time to recover from calving and cycle before our mating start date.

3. High BW heifer calves born at the start of our block means they will have the maximum time to grow and meet target weights for breeding.

Here's hoping that calving continues apace. My next post will probably be a bit about calf rearing, with lots of cute pictures.

Until then, best of luck to everyone calving, or thinking about turning cows out to graze!


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