Line one Herefords

sheepwise

Member
Location
SW Scotland
That's your choice Alan, you can ignore who you want to, obviously I'd prefer you didn't but that's not up to me.

You said keep them tighter stocked, and that it wasn't rocket science, which of course it isn't, but restricting intakes to keep lactating cows leaner obviously has knock on effects.
I'm not wanting calves to be on restricted grass when with their mothers, I want them to be getting as much they want, I was asking Woolless how this can be achieved, as I haven't found a way to practically do that so far, apart from forward grazing which isn't really an option.

So far I've gotten round this by keeping a cow that matches the land and has more growth and production potential so doesnt get ovefat like most natives have here, but I keep getting told on TFF that little cows are much more efficient, but I've found that grazing these easy keep/hill types in a way that allows calves to grow well means overfat cows, which have naturally smaller calves anyway, so it was loose loose.
So far I've been told there are ways round this, but nobody has explained a yet of them practically.
Keep your cows a sensible size by breeding them at as young an age as possible. Cows getting fit while rearing calves well is surely a bonus as they can be fed very cheaply once the calves are speaned. Lean cows at speaning are a much bigger problem, as if you feed them too well you risk growing the calf with potential calving problems.
 

sheepwise

Member
Location
SW Scotland
Making winter cheaper is important and using condition is a good thing, I don't dispute that, but cattle need to be matched to the farm.
If we keep native cows here they get grossly overfat when rotationally grazed, and breaking down that excessive fat can end badly because once they get that fat they have difficulty metabolising it, combine that with compensatory placental development in a cow on a harsh diet during mid pregnancy make the extremes far from ideal and not efficient.

A cow weaned at BCS4 in November is ideal to me, she'll be maintained until month 5 of pregnancy and brought down to 3 for calving.
A native cow will be gross on the same grazing and will be lucky to be as low as a 4 by calving, still too fat IMO and going back out to grass to just get fat again, to me that's not an efficient use of energy.

If I was on a hill farm I would have to work differently, but on a mixed arable and livestock farm where cows are well grazed it doesn't make best use of the land IMO.
You shouldn’t have cows on a good arable farm. That’s where the finishing cattle should be😀
 
Keep your cows a sensible size by breeding them at as young an age as possible. Cows getting fit while rearing calves well is surely a bonus as they can be fed very cheaply once the calves are speaned. Lean cows at speaning are a much bigger problem, as if you feed them too well you risk growing the calf with potential calving problems.
I agree with all of that and carry it out as best I can, I just don't keep a cow that will get grossly overfat on good grass.
I can't keep cows much cheaper than outdoors eating straw and July cut hay/haylage.
 
If you are hot on grazing management with a good grassland farm, then grazing cattle to a high standard may be a better bet than sucklers particularly if you intend on taking it a little easier. Have a listen to the Pasture Pod podcast episode 2 where Robert Fleming is interviewed. The growth rates that he is achieving with grass and cattle are phenomenal, albeit on a farm where you could milk cows. Episode 6 with Michael Shannon would also be of interest.
@Woolless I just started listening to the Pasture Pod series, really good so far
 

Kiwi Pete

Member
Livestock Farmer
Yes, adopt total/non-selective grazing. Longer rest periods followed by grazing right down.

I can understand sucklers being used to optimise sheep grazing on a lowland farm. Do they stack up as an enterprise outwith that, on your system?
Completely agree with this

after spending a lifetime around "rotational grazing", I wish I had just learnt about high impact low frequency grazing, and how/when to set-stock 🤷‍♂️

rotational grazing can be very similar to putting a bit of bag over the front of the Titanic
 

Kiwi Pete

Member
Livestock Farmer
Elaborate on the "how/when to set stock" if you would.
I'd possibly do it for 4-6 weeks to facilitate a smooth block calving, if I needed to, but it is such a great way to erode and undo what the good grazing did

I think to reduce the costs, rainfall risk, reliance on inputs etc then "rotational grazing" really can promise the world and underdeliver in terms of gains made over time
 

Hilly

Member
I reckon @Hilly is down on 6 volts.
My generator saved the day for us, but the internet has been off 😂 currently out in the pickup looking for 4g to communicate with Airbnb punters ! Got to keep them happy 😂 a lot of folk have and a difficult week with no electricity , I had a week like that once before I bought a generator and three changeover switches , just get a neighbour to phone when the mains comes back on now but the internet is not under my control … yet 😂 😂
 

puntabrava

Member
Location
Wiltshire
My generator saved the day for us, but the internet has been off 😂 currently out in the pickup looking for 4g to communicate with Airbnb punters ! Got to keep them happy 😂 a lot of folk have and a difficult week with no electricity , I had a week like that once before I bought a generator and three changeover switches , just get a neighbour to phone when the mains comes back on now but the internet is not under my control … yet 😂 😂
Cosy, I bet the neighbours 4 miles away love looking up at your place bathed in light. The electric company are bigging up the job on the news so sounds like another week yet.
 

Jockers84

Member
Livestock Farmer
Location
Caithness
Completely agree with this

after spending a lifetime around "rotational grazing", I wish I had just learnt about high impact low frequency grazing, and how/when to set-stock 🤷‍♂️

rotational grazing can be very similar to putting a bit of bag over the front of the Titanic
I don’t follow, can you explain more? “Putting a bit of bag over the front of the Titanic” isn’t a phrase I’m sure of but assume it’s not good?
 

Kiwi Pete

Member
Livestock Farmer
I don’t follow, can you explain more? “Putting a bit of bag over the front of the Titanic” isn’t a phrase I’m sure of but assume it’s not good?
I just made that one up to fit.

What I was meaning is that rotational grazing can do a wee bit of what's possible, but it's still quite a flawed system - not winterproof, not droughtproof, usually still needs inputs and interventions so really "it's just a half-way house"

Animals don't actually need their grass to be manicured and topdressed and full of parasites, but it's usually what happens with compensatory grazing systems
 

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