Cameron Betts, Stockman

05 November 2021

A couple of weeks ago I attended the Scottish Small holders Association show in Forfar and took along three of our finishing Tamworth pigs which we put on show to the public allowing them to see a rare breed and open their eyes to the world of agriculture. Our pigs came second in a rare breed class so we brought a lovely rosette back to the farm! It was a really enjoyable day and was nice to see different stock and breeds of all species from various farms.

Last week our new pedigree Lincoln Reds arrived at the farm, 3 bulls, 10 in-calf heifers, 3 in-calf cows and 62 heifers that will be going into our breeding programme. They have come from different farms in the Lincolnshire area and have been put in their own field to isolate for a few days until they join the rest of our own herd of Lincoln Reds. The bulls are settling in at North Baldutho and will be fed up and start on their halter training ready for next year.

On a daily basis I shift the mobs of cattle everyday which takes a couple of hours, I start by moving the water troughs and salt lick, the fences and then the cattle and make sure there is always one fence set up ahead of them in the mob grazing system. Any cattle in the shed also need bedded and fed daily which is another routine job and all part of taking care of all our animals.

I am also getting ready to start weaning the calves born at the start of this year, this is an important part of their development and gives time for the mothers to rest as well.

At the end of this month we will be TB testing all our breeding cattle. This involves getting all our cattle up to the top of the farm with the rest of the farm team to help handle the cattle and move them around the handling facilities and put through the cattle system. I will be working alongside the vet who vaccinates them against BVD and leptospirosis while doing their TB test and taking bloods to ensure all the animals are fit and healthy.

Separate to this I will also be working with Archie from Stockscan who will also be pregnancy scanning all our breeding cattle to determine firstly if they are pregnant, and if so how far along they are which will in turn give us their due date and also should tell us if they are expecting a single calf or twins. It’s a really busy time on the farm and involves a surprising amount of paperwork!

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