All things Dairy

I did consider it but I have a couple of reservations, mainly how to keep then dry, when I had them in straw pens with a tarpaulin over the top I was using huge quantities and couldn't keep them dry? Are hutches any better as it's the same concept but plastic instead of straw?

But mainly it would cost me £30,000 in hutches for 100 calves and I can't help but think a well designed shed would be a better investment especially as it would have other uses throughout the year?
Also how long does a hutches last? 10 years? Just trying to see how often they would need replacing in comparison to a shed which shouldn't ever need replacing?

The shed would go up at dad's so don't have to worry about tenancy

I'm snatch calving and using half a big square bale of barley straw a day to bed down a 45x20' area with 1-4 cows in it

You'll still easily spend double that on a decent calf shed and unless you can persuade your dad to feed them you will massively increase your workload travelling to and fro twice a day

I put 150 in 15 hutches. All 150 are still here. I can't say the same for the beef calves that are in fixed housing. By calving a bit later my calves are not housed for long before going out on the trailer feeder, 10 per hutch still gives plenty of room and they probably used a total of 10 x six string bales while they were in.
 

Ducati899

Member
Location
north dorset
First calf Outside of 2022,can hear him sucking nicely whilst I enjoy a beer on the patio 👍🏻
 

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Location
southwest
I did consider it but I have a couple of reservations, mainly how to keep then dry, when I had them in straw pens with a tarpaulin over the top I was using huge quantities and couldn't keep them dry? Are hutches any better as it's the same concept but plastic instead of straw?

But mainly it would cost me £30,000 in hutches for 100 calves and I can't help but think a well designed shed would be a better investment especially as it would have other uses throughout the year?
Also how long does a hutches last? 10 years? Just trying to see how often they would need replacing in comparison to a shed which shouldn't ever need replacing?

The shed would go up at dad's so don't have to worry about tenancy

I'm snatch calving and using half a big square bale of barley straw a day to bed down a 45x20' area with 1-4 cows in it


Not only you work wise, but the calves will suffer from being moved from one farm to another at a few days old.

More generally, how do you get on with the previous tenant, who I think is a poster on TFF? It would be a good idea to invite him round for a cuppa (get the choccy biscuits out as well) I'm sure he would have some useful comments on the troubles you seem to be having, whether it's fencing, finding a helping hand or disease control.
 

som farmer

Member
Livestock Farmer
Location
somerset
have seen so many purpose built calf sheds, that are not fit for purpose
many think by throwing money at it, will solve the problem, it rarely does
one very big purpose building locally, with 10 machines in it, is a disaster.
things have to start from the bottom, the calf, then work up, till you find the problem, usually environment is the problem, which lets disease take hold.
 

Dead Rabbits

Member
Location
'Merica
Would anyone know if I would be able to lay concrete panels down on their flat and use them as a floor? That way I can take them with me when I leave as opposed to pouring concrete which is a bit more tricky to remove!
Wouldn't necessarily need to drive on them as they would be for my calving pens so I could disinfect between each calf being born
Thanks
Not to be telling ya what to do, but I calve outside in all conditions. It’s nothing to do with sanitation. Nobody has time for individual pens
 
have seen so many purpose built calf sheds, that are not fit for purpose
many think by throwing money at it, will solve the problem, it rarely does
one very big purpose building locally, with 10 machines in it, is a disaster.
things have to start from the bottom, the calf, then work up, till you find the problem, usually environment is the problem, which lets disease take hold.

And the closer the calves environment can be to outside but with a decent hedge or a bit of woodland to shelter under the better.

Sheds are largely built for ease of management for the people working with the calves rather than the calves themselves.

Disclaimer.....This might only apply to us softy southern folk, it may not work in Scotland.
 

Jdunn55

Member
Not to be telling ya what to do, but I calve outside in all conditions. It’s nothing to do with sanitation. Nobody has time for individual pens
I was only going off what my vets have suggested to do
I'm at a bit of a loss

The following is going to be controversial

I can calve outside on this farm during June-July, maybe may and August

Every other month will result in dead calves

This farm resembles Scotland more than it does cornwall, I farm the second highest point in Cornwall and its bitterly cold 75% of the year, and wet. But it grows grass. It also grows rushes for a past time. Nothing on the hedges grows, I might get a gorse Bush if I'm lucky

I had to drag my fencing contractor out of one of the fields the other day as he had sunk
In his words he has never fenced such a wet farm

Dad's is the polar opposite, he farms 10 minutes away. It is just a very difficult farm

One option is to calve much later, say may-july? Roddas would be ecstatic if I did, I could probably calve outside, I can make a big cut of silage when the cows are dry in april-may on the half of the farm that I can cut and the other half I could graze with youngstock

I could also plant fodder beet to graze during the winter along with maize to feed during the winter too

Yes I am grasping at straws
 

Jdunn55

Member
I was only going off what my vets have suggested to do
I'm at a bit of a loss

The following is going to be controversial

I can calve outside on this farm during June-July, maybe may and August

Every other month will result in dead calves

This farm resembles Scotland more than it does cornwall, I farm the second highest point in Cornwall and its bitterly cold 75% of the year, and wet. But it grows grass. It also grows rushes for a past time. Nothing on the hedges grows, I might get a gorse Bush if I'm lucky

I had to drag my fencing contractor out of one of the fields the other day as he had sunk
In his words he has never fenced such a wet farm

Dad's is the polar opposite, he farms 10 minutes away. It is just a very difficult farm

One option is to calve much later, say may-july? Roddas would be ecstatic if I did, I could probably calve outside, I can make a big cut of silage when the cows are dry in april-may on the half of the farm that I can cut and the other half I could graze with youngstock

I could also plant fodder beet to graze during the winter along with maize to feed during the winter too

Yes I am grasping at straws
2 examples of my "hedges" if you can call them that
 

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Tsa115

Member
Livestock Farmer
I was only going off what my vets have suggested to do
I'm at a bit of a loss

The following is going to be controversial

I can calve outside on this farm during June-July, maybe may and August

Every other month will result in dead calves

This farm resembles Scotland more than it does cornwall, I farm the second highest point in Cornwall and its bitterly cold 75% of the year, and wet. But it grows grass. It also grows rushes for a past time. Nothing on the hedges grows, I might get a gorse Bush if I'm lucky

I had to drag my fencing contractor out of one of the fields the other day as he had sunk
In his words he has never fenced such a wet farm

Dad's is the polar opposite, he farms 10 minutes away. It is just a very difficult farm

One option is to calve much later, say may-july? Roddas would be ecstatic if I did, I could probably calve outside, I can make a big cut of silage when the cows are dry in april-may on the half of the farm that I can cut and the other half I could graze with youngstock

I could also plant fodder beet to graze during the winter along with maize to feed during the winter too

Yes I am grasping at straws
rotavec does wonders here. had a bad spell with crypto begining of winter , did not rotavec heifers before calving, Vet rekoned we needed to halocur every calf for a while too get over it, next day re rotaveced every dry cow and heifer and it seriously improved, used some halocure but ditched it after a week.
Surely it is fairly forgiving land if you can graze fodder beet in winter and grow maize though,
 
I was only going off what my vets have suggested to do
I'm at a bit of a loss

The following is going to be controversial

I can calve outside on this farm during June-July, maybe may and August

Every other month will result in dead calves

This farm resembles Scotland more than it does cornwall, I farm the second highest point in Cornwall and its bitterly cold 75% of the year, and wet. But it grows grass. It also grows rushes for a past time. Nothing on the hedges grows, I might get a gorse Bush if I'm lucky

I had to drag my fencing contractor out of one of the fields the other day as he had sunk
In his words he has never fenced such a wet farm

Dad's is the polar opposite, he farms 10 minutes away. It is just a very difficult farm

One option is to calve much later, say may-july? Roddas would be ecstatic if I did, I could probably calve outside, I can make a big cut of silage when the cows are dry in april-may on the half of the farm that I can cut and the other half I could graze with youngstock

I could also plant fodder beet to graze during the winter along with maize to feed during the winter too

Yes I am grasping at straws
Cant graze beet on a wet farm in winter.
 

Jdunn55

Member
rotavec does wonders here. had a bad spell with crypto begining of winter , did not rotavec heifers before calving, Vet rekoned we needed to halocur every calf for a while too get over it, next day re rotaveced every dry cow and heifer and it seriously improved, used some halocure but ditched it after a week.
Surely it is fairly forgiving land if you can graze fodder beet in winter and grow maize though,
I don't understand how rotavec can help against crypto unless you have ecoli, corona or rotavirus? I understand that if you have one of them it makes them more susceptible to crypto and being ill from it but if you don't have one of them it won't be doing anything for crypto surely?

I can't grow maize here, I can at dad's though, I can graze fodder beet with cows no problem on half of the land, I wouldn't be able to out winter on it though, they would need access to cubicles/shed to lie down in the dry it's too wet to outwinter properly if that makes sense
 
Location
southwest
If you can graze fodder beet, you can calve cows outside.

FWIW, I think you overreact to problems and that stops you taking time to consider a real solution.

You jump from 2x/day to 10 from 7 milking and back to 2x/day, had a bad time with calves so you're either going to build a new shed on another farm or switch to summer calving, 2 days after you start AIing!

Every time you change something, it stops you finding a permanent solution and costs you money!

Take some time to find the root cause of the calf issues, ditto getting some help with or easing your workload.
 

Jdunn55

Member
Thought I'd just find the map of the farm to give some context

Land in Blue is next door - non grazeable. I am not allowed to graze it, he does not want it to be grazed, if I ask to graze it I will lose it, I do not want to lose it so therefore cannot ask to graze it

Red is the farm

Blue arrow points to the yard
Blue lines are rivers
Orange is always wet, it grew grass during the summer of 2018 and the dry year of 1976(?) according to my landlord

Purple is steep and high up, I nearly overturned a tractor on it last year and the wind cuts across the valley like a knife

Green is the better ground I can grow and graze fodder beet here. Still bitterly cold and windy but again grows grass well just without very tall hedges
 

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Man fined £300 for bonfire-related waste offences

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Written by William Kellett from Agriland

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A man has pleaded guilty at Newtownards Magistrates’ Court to waste offences relating to a bonfire next to the electrical sub-station on the Circular Road in Newtownards, Co. Down.

Gareth Gill (51) of Abbot’s Walk, Newtownards pleaded guilty to two charges under the Waste and Contaminated Land (Northern Ireland) Order 1997, for which he was fined £150 each and ordered to pay a £15 offender’s levy

On June 25, 2018, PSNI officers went to Gill’s yard, where they found a large amount of waste consisting of scrap wood, pallets, carpet and underlay.

Discussion with Northern Ireland Environment Agency (NIEA) officers confirmed the site...
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