Almost overnight, the days have stretched and suddenly it feels like we’re leaving winter behind.

Our spring calving started on March 1, and we had 26% calve in the first week, calving to Angus bulls and one Simmental.

The Simmental – was the first bought at the Working Genes bull sales – and so far we’re pleased by the ease they have calved, and the natural strength and willingness the calves are showing to thrive.

We had a couple of ‘surprise’ twins born and with 16% of those calved having had twins, we are delighted to have spare calves at this early stage – inevitably, they may be needed in the coming weeks.

The cows have been on a straw and silage diet since coming in from grazing fodder beet. We would normally supplement our feeding by lifting turnips and putting them into our mix however this year has yielded a poor crop so we are thankful to have plenty of silage.

Once calved, the cows get straw, silage and dark grains to keep them milking and to ensure they are fit enough to hold to the bull in the coming months. To help the calves thrive, we put up an electric wire so that they have a dry bedded area away from the cows.

We also have weighed last year’s steers and heifers to track their weight and the steers are averaging a daily live weight gain of 1.49kg since birth and the heifers 1.42kg. The heaviest 25 have been taken out and put onto the Ritchie Beef Monitor so that we can track these even more closely.

The pure ewes we lamb for breeding tups have moved outside to a sheltered field of young grass and are coming along nicely. The in-lamb ewes are eating their way through the turnips and by the time we bring the late lot in to lamb, there will be very little left.

The early lot are approximately 12 days away from lambing and are getting 0.7kg per head of feeding from the snacker per day. Over the next 10 days this will be increased to 0.9kg.

Like last year, we are feeding them Harbro Premium Ewe Nut, while the in-lamb ewe hoggs are strip grazing turnips and silage and are being supplemented with Harbro cake at 0.25kg per head, a rate which will remain the same until they come inside to lamb.

Preparations are also underway for the next big event – dressing spring barley seed – which once completed, will move us onto setting up the sheds for the main lambing at the end of March.