We are coming to the end of our autumn calving period now, just four more cows to go, who don’t seem to be in any hurry.
Today, Nov 14th, must be the wettest day of the year in Brinkworth – anyone who’s been outside is wet through and I’m on to my second complete change of clothes.
Up to this morning we had 84 young stock still outside. Last Thursday they were still enjoying the autumn sunshine, today after escaping from their wet and muddy field, they were only too pleased to come in.
Coinciding with the end of calving is the outset of our serving period. Next week the cows will be fitted with markers on their rumps. These are initially white, but when the cow is mounted by another cow, the marker turns red, so even if we haven’t spotted the bulling activity, we can catch up at milking time, checking any red ones and serving them with AI the next day.
The bulling heifers, 9 to 12 months away from calving for the first time, also need to be served. It’s a toss up between our new Aberdeen Angus bull who is no light weight, or our younger also black home bred Friesian bull. We have to check carefully to make sure the heifers are big enough to bear the weight of the bull.
Up to last Friday, we had one too many bulls of service size. Very luckily a farmer who had previously bought a bull from us, returned with his trailer, and pictures of that bull’s, Brinkworth Rhys, offspring, he was so delighted with them all.
We walked through the cubicles, looking out for our daughters from Brinkworth Rhys. We had had similarly good heifers, all like peas in a pod, deep bodied, very high milk quality, excellent milk yields, fertility and low cell counts.
The farmer was amazed how quiet all our cows were, as they all ignored the visitors.
I was very pleased to say that he also liked the bull for sale, this one called Brinkworth Roland. Brinkworth Roland seemed to return the compliment as he shot into the trailer and will soon be serving heifers in Somerset. Even better the farmer wants to buy our young black bull, Brinkworth Christian, as soon as he has served our heifers.