Outwintering? In for the winter?

Welcome to the DexterCattleForSale Discussion Board. This is where all the Topics and Replies are stored, click on the above link to enter!
Post Reply
Saffy
Posts: 1753
Joined: Fri Oct 01, 2004 1:42 pm
Location: Monmouthshire, South Wales
Contact:

Outwintering? In for the winter?

Post by Saffy » Thu Dec 07, 2017 3:55 pm

Just wondering how everywhere is looking fodder wise?

My main herd will probably come in the shed in about a week to 10 days, depends on just how wet it gets and how soon, at the moment they have enough grass still but they could puddle it in with more rain.

Youngstock will mostly stay out on hay.

I have made nearly enough hay but will probably need to buy some and I have to buy all bedding, apart from that they get a tiny handful of suckler rolls each for minerals.

There are 23 here, that includes a calf born on Tuesday morning.

So what do you do with your dexters in winter - are they in or out?

When will they come in or are they in now?

What are you feeding them?

How many dexters do you have in total?

Stephanie
Stephanie Powell
Duffryn Dexters 32824
Abergavenny
http://www.duffryndexters.co.uk

Darachbeg
Posts: 4
Joined: Sun Oct 09, 2016 8:21 pm
Location: Highlands

Re: Outwintering? In for the winter?

Post by Darachbeg » Thu Dec 07, 2017 7:52 pm

We'd love to out winter ours but there's very little forage on the hill here between October and May; the purple moor grass dies off at the end of September and there's a lot of sheep competing over whatever's left (mainly heather). We could feed out but then there's the issue of competing sheep and deep peat/mud at feed sites. So we keep our dexters in for 7 months of the year feeding/hay minerals with 1kg concentrate each for cows nursing calves. We calve in October and Slaughter at 24 months so that steers only overwinter in the shed as calves and yearlings - there's not space for 2yr olds! 3 cows, 3 calves and 3 yearlings just about fill the shed, there's just room for the bull on hire in Jan/Feb.

Our neighbours also use the hill - chap on one side keeps Angus x Highlands (not dissimilar to Galloways) and outwinters his with some supplementary feed each day and rests cows between calvings. Neighbour on the other side keeps similar cattle and outwinters as he has some more conventional improved/drained fields. If and when we get the use of some fields ourselves we'll do the same and be able to get some better carcass weights taking steers past 24 months! Any observations of this system welcome.

Duncan MacIntyre
Posts: 2325
Joined: Tue Mar 30, 2004 12:38 am
Location: Isle of Bute, Scotland, UK

Re: Outwintering? In for the winter?

Post by Duncan MacIntyre » Thu Dec 07, 2017 10:26 pm

I operate a rather upside down system mainly to avoid contact with neighbouring cattle because I am Hi Health accredited for BVD IBR Lepto and Johnes Level 1. Neighbours on two sides are not, and even if they were single fence of dry stone walls are just inviting mixing of cattle. So mine stay in fields with no neighbours from late March/early April till October or even November when neighbouring ground is empty. Then cows still with April/May calves at foot go up the hill to rougher ground which has been ungrazed since January or February, no feeding given. As late as I can leave it, I bring them down to a lower field, again unused since the spring, and when they have eaten off any rough stuff they can get a small amount of silage. Usually I move them to a fresh field again for calving and take the last years calves off them, house the yearlings for a few weeks to allow them to get used to close handling. Adult bulls usually spend more time in doors to avoid escapes.

I am lucky to have access to enough ground to make this possible, with less I would have to operate more like Darachbeg.

I may have to resort to buying in some big bale silage this spring since the "summer" was so wet here I have much less small bale silage made myself than usual.

Duncan
Duncan MacIntyre
Burnside Dexters 00316
Burnside
Ascog
Isle of Bute

Louisa Gidney
Posts: 695
Joined: Mon Sep 05, 2005 11:00 am
Contact:

Re: Outwintering? In for the winter?

Post by Louisa Gidney » Fri Dec 08, 2017 1:33 am

Everything that can fit in the barn is now inside, about a fortnight earlier than usual. Last winter half the herd stayed outside throughout. Inside, they get hay & 1 scoop of sugar beet pellets per day. Outside they get 1 big bale silage per week for the first month they're home from summer keep. This lasts 3 days, then hay.
Currently 3 bulls, 1 cow & calf outside, 8 cows & 2 calves inside.
Hoping to sell 2 cows & calves this month.
Might wing it for fodder/bedding if the sale goes through. If not, will definitely be short so have been trying to source some more. Not many small bales made round here this year.
Zanfara Dexters
Tow Law
Co. Durham

User avatar
SteveM
Posts: 400
Joined: Sun Oct 09, 2005 4:48 am
Location: East Yorkshire

Re: Outwintering? In for the winter?

Post by SteveM » Fri Dec 08, 2017 7:59 am

we are on heavy clay, totally flat at about sea level so out wintering not an option. this years spring born calves where taken off and housed a few weeks ago, there mothers have been coming in for a couple of weeks overnight. a few young heifers who have been away for summer away from bulls where housed a couple of weeks ago also. cows, heifers and bull that where also away from home came in last weekend.

feed a few nuts and bed with barley straw in a morning, hay is fed in the afternoon, pen of in calf cows at currently ad-lib on round bale 2nd cut silage while we use it up, should be gone by Christmas. we also have about 30 mini hesston wrapped bales that will be fed to them when they start calving.

reduced stock levels compared with previous years so in a good position bedding and fodder wise, currently finishing off some 2 year old hay that had been trapped in corner of shed.
Humberdale Dexters (31319)
Holderness
East Yorkshire

Boofarm
Posts: 70
Joined: Wed Oct 10, 2012 2:23 pm
Location: Galloway
Contact:

Re: Outwintering? In for the winter?

Post by Boofarm » Fri Dec 08, 2017 10:18 am

Bit of a mixture here - one mob of pure dexters is "out" but they have access to an unbedded shed so can make thier own minds up if they want to be out of the weather or not.

The other mob are mixed with luing and angus cross cows and are at he moment out - period - they have whins (gorse) to get out of the wind if they want to.

All are fed both silage and hay in rings and trailers and are restricted at the moment to a field which we intend to reseed in the spring.

I would prefer to have them in not because they need to be but because I prefer to decide where the muck goes however short on straw this year so keeping them out apart from youngstock but that may change depending on weather.

We have plenty of both silage (although not the quality we would normally get) and hay - we got pretty lucky on the hay and although it got rained on once I had it rowed up tight before the rain arrived and spun it out on to dry ground once it passed - it has passed quality control with flying colours.
I used to be a farmer but I don't owe anybody anything now - Henry Brewis

User avatar
ann
Posts: 925
Joined: Wed Mar 31, 2004 1:22 pm
Location: North Yorkshire
Contact:

Re: Outwintering? In for the winter?

Post by ann » Sat Dec 09, 2017 4:50 pm

my land gets to wet to keep them out all year round brought the last lot in last week as they had started to poach the land, they will now stay in until end of April unless we get an early spring. Mine only get silage unless any one is struggling 50% calved in spring the rest from Aug onwards and still waiting for 2 to calve. Herd totals around 45, I keep trying to cut down but they will keep breeding :) :) :)

User avatar
Rob R
Posts: 1633
Joined: Sat Mar 05, 2005 9:30 pm
Location: Lower Derwent Valley
Contact:

Re: Outwintering? In for the winter?

Post by Rob R » Sun Dec 10, 2017 8:24 pm

We've got 60 ish cows, the first 8 with calves, 150 in total, so should have about 190 after calving. The cows came in early this year - before the end of November, to start calving indoors. We only have two sheds so we can't physically fit everyone indoors although up until last year we did try to achieve it. Last year we left the steers out due to lack of space and they did better than they ever have, so I intend to repeat that with anyone that doesn't need to see a bull.

To say our land is wet is an understatement - much of it can be 6ft under water so watching the water levels is crucial, and we try to keep them out on hay meadow aftermaths as long as possible before retreating to the higher, drier silage aftermaths for winter. We currently have all 30 steers grazing Ings meadows behind floodbanks, 30 heifers back home outside and seven (beef) bulls that are grazing on the heathy common.

It depends how long winter is but in theory we have enough hay & silage to last until turnout (famous last words). Due to the wet summer some hay is still in the swath and others didn't get cut, but we make extra to sell & hopefully we've kept enough back. We don't feed anything outdoors but indoors get hay & silage.

Mark Bowles
Site Admin
Posts: 1198
Joined: Mon Mar 29, 2004 6:03 pm
Location: Leicestershire England
Contact:

Re: Outwintering? In for the winter?

Post by Mark Bowles » Sun Dec 10, 2017 11:31 pm

My haylage stash for the winter plus 50 or so hay bales inside from last year, more than enough for my 48 head. I usually keep 50 to 60 but cutting down a bit....until 20 more calves next year!
Shut my main 2 groups inside today but a bull and 3 steers will see the winter through outside.
Attachments
males insnow.JPG
bales.JPG
Mark Bowles
Linford Dexters
Webmaster

Mark S
Posts: 56
Joined: Thu Oct 20, 2011 7:56 pm

Re: Outwintering? In for the winter?

Post by Mark S » Mon Dec 11, 2017 8:59 am

As our ground at home is heavy and prone to poaching the 7 Dexters at home have been housed for the past 3 weeks. We have 8 acres away from the farm which is sandy soil and ideal for the cattle at this time of year. We have 6 Dexters on this ground, 2 heifers and 4 cows due to calve end Feb to end March. We started to feed the haylage last week, they have access to a shed and will remain on this ground until the beginning of January, 2 of them still have March born calves at foot, they will be weaned before the cows are housed. The cows with calves are in excellent condition, very fit due to the abundance of grass summer /autumn and have delayed weaning to prevent them being too fit at calving. All cows/heifers have access to Rumenco Lifeline Precalver Buckets, our ground/forage is deficient in cobalt, selenium and copper and we find they work well for us.
Mark S
Brereton Dexters

P

User avatar
Rob R
Posts: 1633
Joined: Sat Mar 05, 2005 9:30 pm
Location: Lower Derwent Valley
Contact:

Re: Outwintering? In for the winter?

Post by Rob R » Thu Dec 14, 2017 10:07 pm

We moved our out wintered steers to pastures new this afternoon, which involved a bit of ice road herding;

Image

monica a waltho
Posts: 154
Joined: Sun Apr 03, 2011 10:17 pm
Location: Staffordshire

Re: Outwintering? In for the winter?

Post by monica a waltho » Fri Dec 15, 2017 7:30 pm

Had most cattle out until yesterday when brought in 12 cows with calves at foot ready to wean ground so wet after snow nowhere much to lie down gave them the benefit 2 days ago but decided enough was enough so glad we did after the rain we had last night then snow then frost. Got 25 youngstock and barren cows out in sheltered fields plus another small group of cow with calves and a bull.. they are on bigger filed so not as wet/trodden but see how it goes. Plenty of silage just low on straw.
Monica Waltho (01536)
(see Smallwood Dexters on facebook)
Staffordshire

Mark Bowles
Site Admin
Posts: 1198
Joined: Mon Mar 29, 2004 6:03 pm
Location: Leicestershire England
Contact:

Re: Outwintering? In for the winter?

Post by Mark Bowles » Fri Dec 15, 2017 8:08 pm

Nice photo Rob.
Mark Bowles
Linford Dexters
Webmaster

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest