While many other parts of the country are now complaining of too much rain conditions at Puketira Deer in August are superb. With only 28mm of rain over two rainfall events in the month we are able to put a fertiliser truck over the Lucerne paddocks in late August, without leaving wheel ruts – that’s limestone soil for you!
The same cannot be said for the clay downs which continue to ooze water. We miss the coldest weekend in August whilst on a week’s holiday to Rarotonga. We certainly didn’t expect to hear the roar of the Nor-west on holiday but we did. Except in Rarotonga they call it the trade winds – and its great if you have gone on holiday to learn to kite surf!
Upon our return a change in the amount of feed on the paddocks is evident, and we have only been gone 6 days! Its an early spring and we are able to set stock the ewes prior to lambing on sufficient pasture covers. In fact the winter has been generally kind so we have some kale crops and Lucerne balage left over. Once the hinds finish their silage pit they are happy to go onto the kale left over from the sheep.
We weighed all the weaner deer once their kale crops were finished and put them onto annual grass paddocks that had really bulked up over the mild winter. It looked like a lot of feed but it was just amazing how much the weaners could “hoover” through in a week. They must be growing rapidly now the day light hours are increasing.
The ewe hoggets that didn’t get in lamb have now gone for processing. They averaged 22kg carcase weight and obviously yielded very well as a number exceeded the maximum 25kg carcase weight. I bet they will all be mouth wateringly delicious. They obviously enjoyed their winter forage of Green-feed oats.
The weather remains favourable as lambing commences – this year we even managed to get them set stocked before they started lambing!
Ground conditions are now ideal as we being driving deer posts along the boundary. Good progress is made when you can simply drive down the line putting in posts as you go, without needing to spike the ground first. Even the massive 3m strainer posts go without any difficulty.