Stockman's Blog

Nick kiddyNick has lived and worked on farms all his life and been brought up on a mixed farm. After studying Agriculture at Writtle college he went on to work for a number of farms gaining huge experience. Then went onto be the Grazing officer for Bedfordshire wildlife trust managing all their livestock and grazing infrastructure.

In his spare time Nick enjoys playing cricket and helping out on the family farm.

You can follow me on twitter @stockmanick

  • Pregnancy testing
    Pregnancy testing

    Happy New Year to you all, we really are in the depths of winter now with the silage stack going down rapidly to keep the bellies of the cows full. Our cows live out all year and are given a supplementary diet of silage and barley straw with the young stock being given a diet of a compound beef nut...

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  • Winter schedule
    Winter schedule

    It has been a very busy month getting cattle off sites and into the buildings for the winter. We will hopefully clear the last sites this week and I know the stockman and cattle will be the happier for it!
    The winter schedule starts soon, which involves checking all our fences, water troughs and cattle pens on sites and liaising...

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  • A warm welcome
    A warm welcome

    Welcome to Holly Grant our new assistant stockwoman, Holly has a wealth of experience having worked on a dairy farm for the last year as well as attending Moulton College. Holly will continue her studies at Shuttleworth College.
    Our harvest has been successfully gathered for another year with silage gathered off our sites and barley straw from a local farm....

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  • A bumper year for grass (and weeds!)
    A bumper year for grass (and weeds!)

    What a couple of months we have had, it’s been a busy time with the weather finally becoming sunny and dry so we can get our silage done and cattle yards mucked out. We have had a good yield of grass in our home fields with some of our best crops. We don’t use any fertiliser on the grass just...

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  • Summer grazing
    Summer grazing

    It has been a busy few months with our spring herds calving, so far we have had 28 calves born with our ratio being 11 male and 17 female. We calve all our cows outside which on the whole has gone very well with the conditions being good. We did lose 1 cow due to calving complications along with her...

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  • Spring calving
    Spring calving

    With the change in weather we are hopefully heading towards better grass growing conditions.
    Spring calving is underway and we are expecting a busy month ahead, we have had our first calf from our home bred bull ‘Duke’ and hopefully they will all be as good as his first.
    We have our TB test at the end of the month...

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  • Has spring sprung?
    Has spring sprung?

    The days are getting longer and a little sunshine which helps with feeding in the mornings. The Shropshire’s have started lambing over the last week with some great lambs being born and hopefully will grow on to be some great potential breeding stock for the future. We are also starting to head towards calving in a months’ time. All our...

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  • A mild winter
    A mild winter

    A happy new year to all, 2016 has begun and it’s been a busy start. We had the vets in for a day to go through some castrations and pregnancy testing. We have a great relationship with our vets, which is great in making our cattle as efficient and profitable as possible.
    As the winter goes on we are keeping...

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  • Winter regime
    Winter regime

    This month it’s been a case of moving cows and bedding in for the winter ahead. The cattle yards are now virtually full with just a handful of longhorns to move in to clear the last two conservation grazing sites. While the fields are empty it’s a good time to get fences repaired and assessed in preparation for spring. We...

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  • Preparing for winter
    Preparing for winter

    We are now entering that time of year when the sheds fill up with cattle and you start counting down to spring. We have been fortunate to have stock running out longer this year with plenty of grass still in front of them with the mild autumn we have had. All the young stock are in the yards now and...

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  • Autumn breeding
    Autumn breeding

    It has been a busy start to the month with our new Shropshire ram going out with his new wives and the autumn calving in full flow.
    We managed to purchase some new Shropshire sheep at the Traditional Breeds Show and Sale at Melton Mowbray, 7 females and a ram. We brought some quality sheep that had won prizes the...

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  • Hello from Stockman Nick
    Hello from Stockman Nick

    It’s been a busy 2 weeks since I stepped into John Philip’s big boots. I have been busy checking the livestock and getting to know all the landowners and the public on our gazing sites and learning how interested people are about the Longhorns and why we use them on the sites.
    As the season changes and summer disappears, planning...

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  • Goodbye Stockman John
    Goodbye Stockman John

    John left Maydencroft on Friday 28 August 2015 after 7 happy years. He hasn't gone far and is now the Grazing and Conservation Manager for The City of London Corporation at Epping Forest and will continue working with Longhorns. Thank you John for all your hard work and making the farm better and better!

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  • Innovations in Conservation Grazing Conference
    Innovations in Conservation Grazing Conference

    Held on Wednesday 4th - Thursday 5th February 2015 the Natural England conference on “innovations in conservation grazing” was eagerly awaited and packed full. With the initial 80 tickets selling out in 2 days they released 70 more which made for a busy 150 strong audience. The conference centred on ‘holistic grazing’, perhaps a better-received term for ‘mob grazing'.

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  • Where did the year go
    Where did the year go

    Summer has rolled in to autumn and swiftly to winter in a short space of time. With at TB test out the way, calves weaned and the steers in for the winter, life is returning slowly to a steadier routine.

    The autumn calving cows have nearly finished, with 80% having calved already and preparations under way for them to return...

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  • Chorleywood Common Grazing
    Chorleywood Common Grazing

    The trial is now entering it’s finally week, the system has held up well with only a few niggly issues with the collars. The public and local walkers have been respectful of the cattle which has helped make the trial run smoothly.

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  • Spring 2014
    Spring 2014

    Spring is certainly in the air, the grass is now running away with ground temperatures rising and a good balance of sunlight and rainfall. Our Herbridean flock has nearly finished lambing with a high percentage of twin lambs, the cows have just started with the heifers calving indoors and the more experienced cows calving outside.
    The first of our conservation grazing...

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  • Virtual fence training
    Virtual fence training

    Four heifers have been selected for a up and coming “virtual fence” project at Chorleywood common. We are using the Boviguard system that is in use on the continent and in a few select places in the UK. The first stage of the training is getting the heifers used to a physical electric fence, this instils the idea of a...

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