With wintery weather and hard frosts looking likely for the next month those with stubble fields (providing there is some shelter) may want to consider turning out the fittest spring calving cows for a while. Those overfat cows would benefit from increased muscle toning outside while being fed via ring feeders and it also saves straw. If the weather turns mild and ground conditions suffer, simply bring them back in again. Similarly remember to bring in those nearest calving or have them on the pre-calving diet 8-weeks prior.
Note that for every week a cow is out wintered could reap a saving of £3 per head, which over the period of e.g. one month, equates to £240 saving if 20 cows were put outside (plus helping calving ease of cows in ‘big’ condition).
Worth considering if your straw supplies are tightening.
Sarah Balfour, firstname.lastname@example.org
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