Cold, winter days are a bit like Marmite, you either love them or hate them! Personally we love them; the crisp, icy mornings with all the trees and hedges sparkling with frost really is beautiful. Perfect for wrapping up warm and going out and enjoying the fresh air! With winter well under way the cattle are all in the sheds keeping nice and warm. Since our last update we have had seven calves who are now skipping round being very playful! They won't have long to wait until they have some more play mates when the rest of the cows start to calve towards the end of February. We have had a busy few weeks working with the cattle, first we had the vet out to scan all the cows to check they were in calf and they all were which was brilliant news! Secondly we had our annual TB test (more about this horrible disease to come in a later article). This is always a worrying time as any animals that test positive have to be culled, some farmers have had entire herds wiped out by this disease and there really is little that can be done to prevent the spread as a lot of it is passed on to animals via wildlife. Thankfully all the cattle passed the test and we're clear for another 12 months until we're tested again next year.
Whilst the cattle are inside it is a great opportunity to weigh them all. By collecting their weights we can monitor their growth rates and see which animals are performing better. We can then look for patterns in their genetics to see if any particular bloodlines have better growth rates than others. We use this information to decide which cows to breed from and which bull they should go with. As well as selling beef we also sell some cattle to other farms with herds of Ruby Red Devons. We have got three young bulls for sale and have just selected a group of young females to sell for breeding as well. It is great that other farmers recognise the quality in our animals and are looking to purchase some to add to their own herds.Read More