Written by Kylie Savidge – Owner, Southampton Station.
The last two years have been very tough years on us with little rainfall, no grass growth, battling bushfires, and battling to keep the livestock fed. This year has been a little easier on us as the rain has fallen a bit more consistently this year.
JAN – 22.5 mm
FEB – 35 mm
MARCH – 69.5 mm
APRIL – 20.5 mm
MAY – 33 mm
JUNE – to date as I type we have had our best falls for the year of 82 mm.
This gives us the astounding total of 262 mm compared to last year’s 182.75 mm.
We had a good total for December 2014 of 55.25 mm and though it got fairly hot over the Christmas period the grass grew reasonably well so that in Feb 2015 we sent out first lot of sale cattle away and received good prices for them. It is a heady feeling when you can pay the outstanding accounts up and be back in the black again!
In May we sold off the majority of our steers and the prices we got for these were just incredible, a huge relief yet again. These steers were the calves of 2013 that I had pulled off from the age of three months and to see them not only surviving but also thriving and bringing good prices made the heartache and effort worth it in the end.
All agistment cattle have now come home again although there is a small mob still away that were missed in the May muster which are still merrily playing at being scrubbers in the mulga scrub on the neighbouring property. Fortunately our neighbour is not worried about these few and when we get the time we will get them home.
Bringing cattle home.
Our calving numbers are starting to climb back up to a good percentage and hopefully with a good joining, a break in the season and a little luck, we will be back up to our 95% calving rate. This does sound high, however we preg test and cull heavily and only keep those cows who are fertile.
Pregnancy testing is done when the mobs of cows are brought in to mark the calves. Any cow not in calf then goes to another paddock with the others and bulls are put with these cows. When the cows come back in at weaning time when we wean the calves off their mothers, all cows are preg tested and those not in calf get culled out and go on the truck to the sales. You cannot afford to run an empty cow when you can run a cow that is PTIC (preg tested in calf aka pregnant).
There is not a lot of cattle work on these holidays so Jack, Ben, and Meghan are off to the bright lights of Bundaberg to spend a week with their grandparents and I will spend a week playing with the young horses and teaching them the ropes. Really just swapping one lot of kids for another 😉