What a difference a week makes… I had a cow calved outside last Sunday week, it was three weeks premature and very small but alive.

I found it lying out in the middle of a dry field, it hadn’t yet suckled, but it’s mother, a third-calving Salers, was doing her best to look after it.

I brought it inside and after a few days of getting it to suckle night and morning, it eventually got the hang of it and now seems to be progressing ok.

Thankfully it calved a week ago and not this past Sunday morning. Never mind it probably foundering to death, it quite possibly would have drowned!

High rainfall

The amount of rain that has fallen here in the past week is unreal, which is a shame, because there is still plenty of good-quality grass around, but, unfortunately, there’s a lot of it now being trampled into the ground as it is being grazed.

Ground conditions here are now pretty much saturated, on the wetter ground at least.

Unless there is a serious improvement in ground conditions, I would imagine the rest of them will be going in

I managed to get 20 cows housed at the weekend, but unless there is a serious improvement in ground conditions, I would imagine the rest of them will be going in as soon as I get the second shed ready.

It’s funny how Mother Nature can often sneak up and bite you on the behind.

Pulling the rug

Up until 10 days ago, things were dry and temperatures were good. It felt like the middle of August not the middle of September, then all of a sudden, the rug is pulled from underneath you and you realise all too abruptly that you are actually in the beginning of October.

I have to say I’m not a huge fan of this time of year, the transition period I suppose you could call it.

Some cattle in, which obviously need to be fed, and some cattle out, which need to be looked at too.

In a couple of weeks’ time, I’ll inevitably find myself running around on a quad in the dark, either in the early morning before work or the early evening after dinner feeding and checking young stock.

While the onslaught of winter feeding does not fill me with any more joy, there is a sort of comfort when you know that everything is in the shed and all you have to do to see them is go into the yard and switch on a light.

Housed stock

I was just thinking about it on Saturday morning as I housed my cows, Saturday 2 October.

It was the end of May before all my stock were at grass for the final time this year. Everything was at grass around the middle of April and then half the stock were rehoused for three weeks in May.

From memory, it was 29 May when all my cattle were back at grass, which in reality means that I’ve had four months this year where all my stock were grazing.

This was an excellent year for grass when it eventually got going - problem is one third of the season was over by the time it did get going.

We all know up here we need to budget for a six-month winter at least, but eight months is just a little long.

I’ll leave you on that cheery note!