Why have a farm Open Day in January? It seems a strange time to hold an event on-farm but the Stabiliser Cattle Company decided to demonstrate a different system: out- wintering cows on kale.
Hosted by R&J Farms at Weighton Wold Farm, Market Weighton. The Stabiliser herd of 200 cows is now managed by Edward Rook son of Robert who is Chairman of SCC.
A fantastic attendance of 90 people with a lot of new interest and some old familiar faces.
The morning started with a few informative talks. Robert Rook welcomed everybody to the event and explaining why they had started using Stabilisers in 1999 as a replacement maternal line.
Edward Rook then explained how he took over the management of the herd and how he has progressed with making improvements within the herd and also significantly increasing cow numbers.
Richard Fuller, SCC’s Business Development Director gave an informative presentation on the Stabiliser breed, so introducing the breed to the many new people in attendance.
A yard of in-calf heifers and another of 2nd calvers were on show at Weighton Wold, all being fed on ammonia treated straw and looking in fine condition.
A short drive to Castle Farm, Sancton where visitors were shown yards of fattening bulls, potential breeding bulls and breeding heifers. These yards were all on different rations so Harvey May from Harbro, the nutritionist who works closely with Edward explained.
Potential breeding bulls were looking well with much interest shown. These bulls will be available from early May onwards by which time they will have been semen tested.
Finally, a trailer ride across a sandy field took visitors to see the cows strip-grazing kale. This was certainly an impressive sight, cows outside in January with a condition score of 3 & 4 were also being offered ad lib straw. Most visitors were very envious of the land type that these cows were on: comments like “it’s like being on Scarborough beach”
This was a very successful and informative day giving new and existing Stabiliser breeders much to think about.