All the bulls that I intended killing under 16 months are now gone and for the most part have done well.

There were a few Rs where I expected Us, but then the opposite was also true.

Kill-out varied from 57% to 59% and carcase weight varied from 340kg for a particularly butty little fellow up to 410kg for the heaviest.

Demand for cattle is strong and the price is decent. There was a lot of meal consumed over the winter, but, all in all, I’m happy with how they did.

I’ve been trying to replace stock as they were offloaded, which is no easy job at the minute.


The plan was to graze half heifers and half bullocks, just as an experiment to see which would work best for me.

I have a number of strongish heifers gathered up at 450kg to 500kg, which I hope to finish off grass with just a little meal, but strong bullocks are in short supply and a little too rich for my liking.

So, I decided to drop back in weight a bit and buy a lighter animal that will be finished out of the shed next spring.

Are they cheap or dear? I’m afraid I won’t know that until they are on the hook. The thing about a trading system, if you are buying cattle dear then you should in theory be selling them dear at the same time and vice versa.

It’s a matter of getting into a system and getting a rhythm going and hoping for the best after that. I didn’t do it with the suckler herd, but it's my intention to vaccinate all cattle for pneumonia, just to be on the safe side.


I took part in the Beef Welfare Scheme last year where one of the actions was to test a portion of the herd for IBR.

I was interested to see what the status of my existing herd was, in the hope that it might give me a little direction going forward. Unfortunately, I haven’t had any results back yet, so I’m none the wiser. I must have a conversation with my vet and see what advice he gives me.

One part of me is thinking that vaccinating cattle going to grass for pneumonia is stupid, but I think the vaccine gives cover for six months, so I suppose they will be covered for the danger period going back into the house next autumn.

There are lots of things that need to be considered when buying cattle that weren’t an issue with a closed herd.

For example, I always waited seven to nine weeks after housing and dosed my stock for fluke, that was them sorted. I have no idea the status of my bought-in cattle, so they are going to need an adult fluke dose going to grass.

A bit of change is good for keeping one thinking - every day’s a school day.