We have had a very busy Autumn getting ewe's and ewe lambs ready for tupping. This time of year is involves a lot of preparation to boost the health and fertility of the flock, which includes shearing and tidying up all the ewes' tails, dozing for fluke and checking udders once more.

The last of our Mule ewes left on farm are going to run with home-bred Texel cross Beltex tups, with 140 Texel ewes being tupped by Aberfield rams and 300 Texel ewes with home-bred Suffolk tups. The remaining ewes will run with a selection of Beltex, Texel and Charollais cross Texel rams.

The tups are out with the ewes for seven days with no crayon, they are then harnessed with red crayons for eight days which are then changed to blue. This naturally and hopefully, ensures three similarly sized batches that will fit into the lambing shed with ease.

Lastly, the tup lambs run with the ewe lambs for a strict 19 days, thereby resulting in a fairly quick lambing, and a small break before calving starts in May.

Lets just hope next year's lamb crop performs as well as this year's – both on the ground and through the sale ring – as to date, the 200 lambs we have sold through the live ring at Forfar Market are £6.00 per head up on the year.

Our spring calves have now been weaned from their mothers and are housed for the winter. At weaning, the calves receive a double dose of Rispoval 4 bolus with selenium, cobalt, copper and iodine.

We also actively choose to worm the calves two weeks before they are brought inside, as this minimises the risk of pneumonia as it helps their lungs remain clear of infection.

Steers and heifers are split off and fed appropriately, with the former started on an East Coast Viners beef blend then gradually introduced to Maxammon barley with access to ammonia treated wheat straw. It is hoped they will finish in the spring at approximately 12 months old.

The heifers are fed a TMR of grass silage, Maxammon barley, wheat dark grains, sugar beet pulp and straw. This mix is formed using our Siloking mixer wagon with the heifers finished on grass next summer.

In-calf cows and heifers have been scanned, with some positive results as 90% of heifers and 83% of cows scanned in calf between 130-160 days, with only two heifers showing empty. In the cows, four have scanned as twins which is also a great bonus to have.

The fittest of our cows have been returned outside to strip graze turnips, with the wires moved daily allowing an allocated amount of turnips to be tidied up each day. At night the cows are turned out of the field and given silage and young grass wrapped straw to keep them content. By being able to graze the cows outside, this will lower their housing cost over the winter as they will be inside for a shorter period.

During the summer, the fields that are grazed with cattle, begin to suffer from compaction. Now that most cattle are inside we have been able to focus on aerating compaction affected fields before the winter weather begins. By using our Alstrong aerator we hope to see two main improvements, firstly in the winter and then spring. The aerator will allow the frost and water seen throughout winter to soak down to the grass root bed more easily, reducing surface flooding and then allowing deep healthy roots to form come spring and encourage new growth.