"Improving Our Lot" - Planned Holistic Grazing, for starters..

exmoor dave

Member
Location
exmoor, uk
Well, at least it prevented you from sneaking off to the pub! Sheep can be a bit of work just with the routine stuff, never mind adding the 'voluntary' tasks! Get them cawed oot, or at the very least tup them with a terminal sire and make your life easier down the road.

Fortunately not our sheep..... just a place I worked on at the time.
Funny enough I'm fairly well put off swales now.(obviously there's plenty of very good swales about)
 
Fortunately not our sheep..... just a place I worked on at the time.
Funny enough I'm fairly well put off swales now.(obviously there's plenty of very good swales about)
Really, is there? We kill swale tup hoggs early spring at work and you can almost pick them out coming down the line. Plus all that faffing about plucking hairs! In fairness, somebody on TFF was recording theirs and making a decent fist of it.
 

bendigeidfran

Member
Livestock Farmer
Location
Cei newydd
sheep feet is something that ive been dealing with aswell - scald from the longer stalks - so blue spray and the occasional jag if its bad enough - if mild ill use 10% iodine. i trim pretty hard IF it warants it - i tried the no-trim and -min trim but for ewes ill do a proper job - lambs on the other hand is dependant on their end use...
having a few pallets so as they can get off the wet grass is something that ive not tried yet but that has been suggested. same with liming - we do it in the winter but ive not really done much in the growing season up till now. i have noticed - and im not sure why but that theres more hoof connection to the sidewall issues coming through, might be from breeding though..im watching that.
i want to start footbathing but its just not at the top of my list yet, a race sadly is higher up the list (as then i can put the bath in it.
I think the gap between the sidewall and hoof is called shelly hoof, prety certain it is hireditry
 

Crofter64

Member
Location
Quebec, Canada
I got an accountant to help with the farm books for a while, because it's something Sarah wants to learn how to do and I wasn't confident that 'my ways were the right ways'.
Turns out I'd been doing a good enough job, but the professionals are much, much better at changing things around and fitting things into places properly.

Ideally, you learn these little hints and tips from the experts, so it's a worthwhile cost IMO.
The good Lord knows we don't have many costs.😅
Do you charge your time to the farm, have a salary , constantly reinvest or do you declare a profit if there is one?
 
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Kiwi Pete

Member
Livestock Farmer
What can I tell you?
Hard to compare our business with other farms as they spend too much, because they own their stock.

By contrast, it appears we mainly work for the landlords, paid them around $750/acre; split 48:52 between interest and principal ("you just can't farm like that with rents the way they are") which is where the bulk of 'the money' went.
Do you charge your time to the farm, have a salary , constantly reinvest or do you declare a profit if there is one?
A weird mix.
As I said earlier we chose mainly to reduce our borrowings, we reduced them by $37,500 and showed a profit of just over $20,000 - this is mainly to show the bank our progress and give them faith in our forward cashflows and budget.
They are starting to look at farmers a little more closely given the current economic upheaval hence "getting the pros in" .

Effectively my salary was paid off the loan which still keeps me motivated, but it also means Sarah gets a fat tax refund each year to keep household assets getting replaced - things like replacing whiteware come from the tax return.
Increasing our OE in the business means we can tell the boys "we effectively bought another field from the bank last year", which means we can all see the benefit of our toil and teamwork.
Otherwise it can get dispiriting, if there is little cash in the kitty (common farming ailment) it's hard to see where it went.

A fairly tight little ship we run, insurance and feed costs were about tied, I put my covercrop experiment down as R&D 😀 because that's how I see it.
So far this winter instead of housing moos for 8 weeks to date, we've kept them in for 4 days.
Next year our budget includes destocking completely for 3 months (fall/autumn) and looks much better. Less trade cattle and more grazers.

Much more cash dropping out the bottom but much of this will be reinvested on the farm (technograzing system stuff) (spreading compost) (upgrades to cattle pens to suit the techno install).

The plan is, apply to the bank to suspend loan repayments for 6 months, which will mean the revenue from stock sales (lambs, our 12 steers and these beef heifers bought 100 days ago) can go directly towards the technograzing installation and resultant opportunity cost while that's happening, and we can catch up on that with a lump payment.
Hopefully they'll agree to this (I blame Covid-19) and I can set about ordering some fence posts and tees for the pipe, water tank etc.
 

Kiwi Pete

Member
Livestock Farmer
Granny going to love me as I have the hens on a lawn in front of my great aunts house as she has dementia and enjoys watching them so have no choice to but to leave them there 😭
Dementia is dreadful for family.
I remember Sarah's Grandad's last few weeks at the retirement village, watching the sheep outside the window like a small child, fascinated by "the creatures"!
Poor chap didn't even know what sheep were anymore (been a sheep farmer all his life 😔) but he still enjoyed watching them. Knew them, but couldn't remember the names he'd given them.

Made me awfully thankful and grateful for the mind I have, while it's still mine.
 

holwellcourtfarm

Member
Livestock Farmer
Dementia is dreadful for family.
I remember Sarah's Grandad's last few weeks at the retirement village, watching the sheep outside the window like a small child, fascinated by "the creatures"!
Poor chap didn't even know what sheep were anymore (been a sheep farmer all his life 😔) but he still enjoyed watching them. Knew them, but couldn't remember the names he'd given them.

Made me awfully thankful and grateful for the mind I have, while it's still mine.
I really pity the folk who have lucid moments. If you become utterly gaga then you don't really know it so don't get distressed (at least that's our theory) but if you keep having lucid moments you realise what you're losing. That must be torture.

:cry:
 

Rob Garrett

Member
Mixed Farmer
Location
Derbyshire UK
And you can see exactly where they've been a few weeks later.

View attachment 898308
Right jealous of that! Have you noticed if cattle prefer grazing the chicken popped or non pooped grass? Any concerns with botulism if grazed or in silage (think more of an issue with spread boiler chook muck)? Is there significantly more grass or is it just greener? Who would have thought chicken poo could be so exciting!
 

Poorbuthappy

Member
Livestock Farmer
Location
Devon
Right jealous of that! Have you noticed if cattle prefer grazing the chicken popped or non pooped grass? Any concerns with botulism if grazed or in silage (think more of an issue with spread boiler chook muck)? Is there significantly more grass or is it just greener? Who would have thought chicken poo could be so exciting!
Significantly more grass given a bit of recovery period - bear in mind the chickens have taken it down considerably compared to surrounding areas, so it has to catch up, which it does easily given a bit of moisture, then powers ahead🙂

Cattle haven't shown any preference, but generally they're either on a chicken area or not - rather than having a choice. Salatin calls the grass rocket fuel or some such.

Botulism is about dead birds going out in the broiler muck afaik, so I'm not expecting a problem.

Looking forward to improving the soil further down the field, which is poorer ground.
 

Kiwi Pete

Member
Livestock Farmer
Thistles are beginning to wake up, a good sign soil temperature is on the way up?
20200802_125710.jpg

Up to 6.3° this afternoon, which is positive.

Should begin to see a bit of a growthrate improvement as this next week looks OK in the forecast, very wet next weekend (y)
20200802_130751.jpg
20200802_103959.jpg

My neighbour's place is looking healthier as the fish hydrolysate that was flown on has had an effect. To be nosey I leapt the boundary fence and had a look, great to see some worm activity although there's a lot of deadish material in his sward still.
 

Tyedyetom

Member
Thistles are beginning to wake up, a good sign soil temperature is on the way up?View attachment 898531
Up to 6.3° this afternoon, which is positive.

Should begin to see a bit of a growthrate improvement as this next week looks OK in the forecast, very wet next weekend (y)View attachment 898532View attachment 898534
My neighbour's place is looking healthier as the fish hydrolysate that was flown on has had an effect. To be nosey I leapt the boundary fence and had a look, great to see some worm activity although there's a lot of deadish material in his sward still.
Is the bottom photo you in your neighbours looking back to your mob?
 

Rob Garrett

Member
Mixed Farmer
Location
Derbyshire UK
Significantly more grass given a bit of recovery period - bear in mind the chickens have taken it down considerably compared to surrounding areas, so it has to catch up, which it does easily given a bit of moisture, then powers ahead

Cattle haven't shown any preference, but generally they're either on a chicken area or not - rather than having a choice. Salatin calls the grass rocket fuel or some such.

Botulism is about dead birds going out in the broiler muck afaik, so I'm not expecting a problem.

Looking forward to improving the soil further down the field, which is poorer ground.
Be interesting to stick a spade in & compare effect on soil/grass roots etc, guessing grass is romping on with available N from chicken poo. One theory suggests artificial N burns off organic matter in soil, wonder if organic N is different?
 

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New ELM scheme must be flexible and have farming at its heart, says NFU

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Written by John Swire

The new Environmental Land Management Scheme (ELMS) must be flexible and have farming at its heart, the NFU said today, as the government consultation draws to a close.

The scheme is due to be rolled out in 2024, replacing the existing environmental schemes currently available under the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP).

Tom Bradshaw
Tom Bradshaw

NFU Vice President Tom Bradshaw said: “The consultation on the new ELMS has given us a great opportunity to get a range of views from our...
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