All cattle are now thankfully back at grass 10 days at this stage, but not before the calves were dosed, bolused, got their second clostridial vaccination and, along with their dams, were weighed for the Beef Environmental Efficiency Programme (BEEP) scheme.

Before dosing I took a dung sample to check the worm burden. It came back at 250 eggs/gram, not crazy high, but I decided to dose them anyway. I’m going to take a second sample in a couple of weeks to see how well the dose worked.

I was very pleasantly surprised at how the calves weighed. After the terrible spring we’ve had and the mothers of half the calves being housed for close to a month on silage alone, I was sure that calf performance would have been back on last year. However, somehow the opposite was true, bull calves were doing in and around 1.4kg/day and heifers were doing 1.2kg/day which is actually ahead of last year. Long may it continue.

Things were slightly unusual this year

I managed to get my first-cut silage harvested at the end of last week in lovely conditions. As usual when the heat finally came, silage bulked quite a lot in a short period of time and over all the crop yielded reasonably well. Things were slightly unusual this year. As stock were so late going to grass in the spring, I was unable to get all my silage ground grazed before closing. This left me in the situation were some of the crop was ready a week to 10 days before I cut it and some of it should have been left to be cut for another week. But as my silage was going in to a pit, I wasn’t about to cover it twice so I picked a date in the middle.

I’d be hopeful that quality should still be very good

One of the advantages of bales I suppose is it’s very easy to cut fields when the come ready. Although some of it had more seed heads than I’d like, it did go in in very good conditions so I’d be hopeful that quality should still be very good.

Because I had so many cattle housed for so long, I ended up having a bit of ground on the grazing block that had grown too strong for grazing, which I also put in the pit. The wisdom of this decision is yet to be realised. If weather continues fine with good growing conditions, then I should be OK but if they don’t, I could end up very short of grass in the not to distant future. As the saying goes: “Nothing ventured nothing gained”.