Spring has been slow to get going this year. In February things looked promising, if a little dry. Of course we should have known that Mother Nature has a way of restoring the balance and March proved extremely wet. Grazing was a bit a of a 'two steps forward, one step back' affair, with the cows having to come back inside with the heavy snowfall in the first week of March and it taking a good couple of weeks before ground conditions allowed them to go out again. Thankfully, unlike some we had plentiful stocks of silage so keeping them in for longer wasn't too much of a concern.
Calving has gone relatively smoothly with lots of easy births, we haven't had to intervene with many calvings at all. The cows are checked regularly in the calving shed. There's something special about creeping out in the dark and wandering through the dark warm shed among them as you try not to disturb their sleep. They are so used to being checked that they hardly stir and sometimes you trip over a leg hidden in the straw.
With only a handful left to give birth we have lots of calves to feed now and the oldest of the heifers are out in the paddock, learning how to graze.
They are still fed milk twice a day on the big 50 calf teat trailer feeder, and they have corn to supplement their diet. They love the wide open space and run up and down having races and skipping and jumping. On sunny days they stretch out, soaking up the sun as if they are on the beach!
We are now hoping for more warmer, sunnier days as the grazing season gets going. It won't be long before we start to think about cutting grass for silage for next winter, and so the cycle begins again.