Calving continues here, with very few issues so far, with one of those being a false alarm which simply required a vet check as she wasn’t progressing.

Recalling our mishap which led to a dead cow and calf from a twisted uterus a year and a half ago, we called the vet to put our minds at rest and, thankfully, the calf was presenting normally with no problems.

No doubt, the handling by both myself and the vet helped her along as she calved later that night.

Better to look a fool three hours too early and pay a call-out fee than to be a fool with a dead calf three hours too late.

We’ve even managed to get one of those currently fashionable animals, a roan Belgian Blue heifer, off one of our best cows.

When calving her, I’d completely forgotten that the bull we’d used carried a roan gene and when I saw red feet presented, I started to wonder if one of our Limousin bulls got to the cow before the AI man!

We've had a surprising number of heifer calves so far this year, with only two bull calves arriving.

Now I’ve no problem with that, as a good heifer is easier sold than a bull, but I’m already having trouble deciding which heifers are going to be kept and which will be sold.

Our focus recently has been on bringing more maternal traits back into our cows, so, on paper, most of these calves are suitable for keeping, but time will tell with regards to their temperament, which is one of our main prerequisites for breeding stock.

Our pasture was closed up from early October last year, though this was more due to the bad weather at the time than forward planning for spring.

This meant we’ve had a good cover of grass to continue letting cows out after they had calved, and even with a few wintry days following our first couple of calves, the cows always managed to find decent shelter in the hedges for them.

It’s certainly been a while since I remember young calves kicking up their heels and racing around fields covered in frost and snow.

Four more are to be let out in the coming days, which will leave us with only two cows in the shed, both of which are due to calve at the beginning of next month.

Not before time either, as our stack of bales is beginning to look rather paltry. Only for we had spares from 2019, we’d likely have run out at the beginning of April.

Hoping to build up our reserve stocks again, slightly more fertiliser has been spread this year, but still well within our nitrogen limit of 40kg per hectare for GLAS.

Slurry was also applied to meadows with the dribble bar and umbilical system due to the wet ground and these fields are now off limits for the cows until they’ll be mown in July.

With the breeding season fast approaching, we’ve started to become more attached to our young five-star bull who’ll be up for sale shortly.

We’ve never had a bull so naturally quiet and gentle and, for some strange reason, he even responds to the call of ‘Bull’, which is a first for us.

Though perhaps we shouldn’t encourage him to take after the original ‘Bull McCabe’.