Hi from Newstead, Hamilton

11 years 4 months ago #34176 by Cigar
Hi all,
I have been lurking on the site for while, and I would like to say thanks to all the posters as the info and discussion on here has been extremely helpful (and often amusing!). My partner and I have a small LSB at Newstead just out of Hamilton, we have been here since May 2011. We have 2 acres in pasture, and since July have been running a stocking rate of 8.5 cattle/ha! Its not really that bad, with one cow, 2 yearlings, 2 autumn born steers and 2 Ag Day calves. And we did have 11 large bales of haylage we made last summer.
I grew up on a 1600 hectare hill country farm, did Ag Sci at Massey, was in charge of a small research farm for AgResearch for 5 yrs and now work for DairyNZ (helping manage farmlet trials amoung other things), so I have a reasonable amount of farming knowledge/background, but the small scale of an LSB is definitely different (even to the farmlet herds of 14 cows at work!) Finding out what plants from the vege garden are OK to be fed to the cows is one of the things that really only apply to an LSB.
Since we bought the property we have been busy getting it set up, with soil testing followed by fertiliser (over 1t/ha, mostly by hand), subdividing the 3 paddocks into 8 with semipermanent hot-tapes, putting in a water system with troughs in every paddock, building a yard and cattle race, planting shade and fruit trees, plus all the normal things like working in the vege garden, mowing the lawns, and looking after the animals.
Cheers, Chris.

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11 years 4 months ago #451415 by LongRidge
Hi Cigar, and welcome. Dad was a vet in Thames in the '50s and '60s, and had 50 acres. One drought he ran 2.8 yearling bulls per acre ..... and managed to feed them with lots of bought-in hay.
A couple of points FYI.
Cows love grapefuit but too many makes the rumen too acidic.
Cows love apples but if a whole one gets stuck then they choke so chop apples.
Cows get bloat so get a very big gauge needle and a huge plastic syringe to use as a trokar. If you don't have them then you will need them.
If you feed grass clippings, ensure that they also have long grass to ruminate on, and ensure that the grass has not been poo-ed on by dogs.
Good luck.

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11 years 4 months ago #451452 by reggit
Replied by reggit on topic Hi from Newstead, Hamilton
Am just down the road from you guys :D

That stocking rate doesn't surprise me - my last place was 3 acres (with good area for house/shed/garden, and we had a mix of steers and sheep and still took off a pile of silage minibales every year.

Be careful this year though...I think things are going to get a lot worse before they get better as far as the feed situation goes [:0]

Take a break...while I take care of your home, your block, your pets, your stock! [;)] PM me...

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11 years 4 months ago #451457 by Cigar
Replied by Cigar on topic Hi from Newstead, Hamilton
Yes, it's getting very dry already and no moisture forecast til next week. The kids Ag Day calves are for sale (this seasons weaners and last seasons IC heifers). We have a couple of weeks grass in front of us, but its not really growing behind the moo's. If not sold when we start running out of pasture they will go to the sale. That will more than halve our feed demand, leaving Rosie and her 2 toy boys, and if it gets really bad the toy boys will go (to sale or freezer).
Rosie was our Ag Day calf in 2008, we "borrowed" her from work. She was empty last season so we bought her and put 2 autumn born bull calves on her (that was a bit of a mission but we got some good info from this site). We were going to sell last seasons calves before they needed mating, but since we had to mate Rosie we kept them and mated by AI. The vet was here on Friday, 100% pregnancy rate! Murphys law meant Rosie stuck to her first AI, so is due to calve about 2 months earlier than ideal, and the high BW yearling we want to sell was the last to get in calf.

Hi Longridge, thanks for the info.
I have heard of cows choking on turnips, not something I want to deal with (alkathene down the throat was one suggestion!).
We do have a trokar here - we had a big scare with Rosie the night we got her (all day in the saleyards then put her on pasture without thinking), she gets bloat oil daily ever since.
I don't feed grass clippings to the cattle (other than long weedeated stuff), as our ride-on doesnt have a catcher. I hadn't thought about the dog poo issue (we have 2).

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