As I write this, I’m right in the middle of a herd test.

What I mean by that is, I tested yesterday and I’m reading in two days’ time.

I’m sure the vets loved me, looking for a herd test on a Friday and reading on a Monday. But believe it or not, the main reason for it was the availability of a babysitter. My wife, Dawn, or as Gerald Potterton would call her “Mrs S”, usually gives me a hand when testing, so a babysitter is needed to facilitate this. Here’s hoping for a clear one. Clear or not, I’ve a big days work planned after the reading.

I usually spend the Christmas break trying to catch up on bits and pieces of jobs or if I don’t spend time doing them, they’ll be in the back of my head tormenting me because I’m not getting them done. So, this year I’ve decided to be super-organised and get them all done before Christmas, famous last words.

My breeding season starts on 1 January, so all heifers and whatever cows that are calved long enough need to be vaccinated for BVD and Lepto in preparation for this. The heifers of course will need a second shot in a month’s time.

All stock also need to be treated for fluke. I’m going for an oral drench this year, I usually move between Trodax and Endofluke, and this year it’s Endofluke. I use head lockers to test the majority of the herd, so with their heads caught anyway, testing day is a good day to administer oral drenches, if there is such thing as a good day for the job.


Calving is progressing nicely, with around two-thirds of the herd calved. All calves, except the last one born, have received their pneumonia vaccine and, weather permitting, will hopefully get an introduction to a bit of grass early in the new year. Things would need to dry up a bit first, however.

I am fast running out of AI calves and the majority of what’s left are probably due to my own stock bull. I am very happy with the quality and performance of the AI calves, I have not yet started them on creep but will do so any day. I would imagine this will be my last article before Christmas, so I’d like to take this opportunity to wish everyone a happy Christmas and prosperous, peaceful and COVID-19-free new year.