Breeding for a traditional medium sized Luing cow that is not too extreme, is the aim for Les Robson, who manages Torwoodlee and Buckholm estates in Galashiels, along with Andrew Johnstone and Paul Charton.
This type does well on our hill and suits the system well, with 120 cows being outwintered the team require a hardy breed. They are supplemented from the middle of January with 1kg of Davidsons Suckler cow rolls per head right through until calving, which is until the end of May.
“The stock does well on the feeding ensuring there is no need for silage or buckets,” said Les.
At Torwoodlee the team run 700 Cheviot and Cheviot Mule ewes, which are all fed Davidsons Ewelac rolls and aim to finish their lambs as soon as possible. Along with 35 Luing in calf cows which are put to the Luing bull and 65 spring calving cows which go to the Aberdeen-Angus bull.
Across the valley at Buckholm, it houses 220 Luing cows, which are calving to Luing, Simmentals and a Charolais bull. They run on a fair grazing system, which was developed by the previous tenants of the estate. Cows calve on the hill and get checked three times a day, once a cow calves she comes off the hill, onto grass fields where they will get 2kg of the suckler rolls.
“This system also allows for better environmental pressures as it is allowing ground nesting birds to get on with what they do best,” added Les.
Calves will be sold at a year old or 18 months of age, along with any surplus heifers which are not kept for replacements will also be sold for breeding.
Les concluded: “We find with Davidsons’s Animal Feeds not only are our stock thriving on their products, but we also receive an excellent service from them which encourages us to continue with them.
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