Last weekend was an eventful one on the farm. Saturday morning began with scanning all the cows that were served over 28 days ago.

The results were good, with almost everything displaying to be in-calf. I was a little disappointed, however, to have two cows that were served 44 days ago, scan empty.

I had been keeping a fairly tight eye on them, or at least I thought I was. But I must have missed at least one repeat heat, if not two.

Served again

One of those two cows showed a heat on Saturday evening and has been served again, hopefully for the final time. I will now stop feeding meal to the cows that have scanned back in-calf.

I usually put the bull in at this point, to pick up the last seven to 10 cows calved, but I’ve decided this year to do my best to AI everything that shows a heat in the shed.

I may get fed up with that plan after a while but we’ll see how things are progressing in a couple of weeks.

The batch of cows and heifers that were synchronised are served two weeks at this point and will be scanned in another two. Heifers were slow to show heat this year for some reason, but my AI man was happy with them at the time of insemination.

Slurry dangers

Second job on the agenda, as soon as the scanning was done, was agitating slurry. My contractor was due to arrive in the afternoon with the umbilical system and obviously the tanks needed mixed first.

It is one of those jobs that I just don’t like doing. Firstly, the shed has to be emptied of cattle, which for me basically means ramming all the cattle from two sheds into one shed.

Before I do this, I usually put the calves out to a small paddock beside the shed so that they are safe, rather than cramming they in with bigger stock were there is the possibility of them getting hurt.

Slurry gas

This short separation obviously disgruntles both cow and calf so the roaring usually starts soon after. Coupled with the noise of stock roaring the place down, the very real dangers of slurry gas are always at the back of my mind when I’m agitating. One breath of hydrogen sulphate can be deadly and has taken many a life.

Unpleasant as it is, I suppose it is better to be aware of it than not and unfortunately the job has to be done.

Satisfying Saturday

It always amazes me how quickly the umbilical system can get rid of slurry. Around 25 acres were covered in the blink of an eye and with the added bonus of the trailing shoe.

A lot of the ground spread is fairly bare as it had sheep grazing it for part of the winter but will hopefully be ready for grazing in a month or so. A batch of lambs were also brought in and weighed to see if they were ready for the factory.

A busy but a pleasant Saturday and with a good forecast for the week ahead. What else could you ask for?

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