It just gets busier in October with tailing of lambs, weighing and drafting yearling deer for the works, set stocking hinds for fawning, tractor work spraying and drilling paddocks for winter feed or new Lucerne, silage making. We had 5 times more rain than in October this year compared with last year – but last year we only received 12 mm! This year we received slightly less than our long-term average so maybe things are changing for the better. Tailing has been completed with ewes achieving 160% and ewe hoggets 93% (animals mated/lambs tailed). It was very exciting to see the twin bearing hoggets tail out at 166% - suffice to say they will all be retained as replacements for our flock. The second draft of yearling deer took place a week earlier than we were anticipating and while the weights were satisfactory they were slightly short of the weight we had been targeting. They were on track from a growth rate perspective but simply killed earlier. Note to self – book them in slightly later next year…
We were one of the first farms to cut silage this spring – before the dairy farmers got going in Culverden. We have 7 ha of greenfeed oats that had been too high in nitrate in the winter to graze. It was feed we had desperately needed in the winter but at least we have now been able to harvest it and out it into a stack as a reserve for the next dry season. 14ha of Lucerne was also cut and added to the stack – this will be very high quality feed. A paddock directly in front of the homestead has been selected for direct drilling into Lucerne. The preparation was good, the soil conditions right, it was weed free and I even managed to drill reasonably straight. Upon leaving the paddock, to my horror, I discovered that I did not have the “collector” under the seed bin to send the seed down the coulter tubes. What will the paddock come up like?
All the lambs from the ewes have been brought through the yards for a parasite drench and a first weighing. At 25kg liveweight they are where we expect then to be. Its pleasing to see the triplet mob are achieving above average weights – a function of priority feeding.