Breakfast today. Our pedigree bull Drakkar is second from the right. One cow is out of view.
The Trust's preferred management of the Mediaeval meadows of Simpson's Fromus Reserve is the natural procedure of grazing by our small herd of rare breed British White cattle. The excellent condition of the grassland in the autumn of 2018 showed that, under minimal inputs (no artificial fertilizers, and no supplementary feed), our bull Drakkar and six cows (with one calf born in May) were sufficient to reduce the sward to the low height (about 3 cm) that favours the targeted mix of grasses with an increasingly rich variety of broadleaf flowering plants. The autumn of 2018 was mild and dry, and the cattle remained on the Reserve until mid-December, by which time two more calves had been born.
The Trust's first calf, a young bull, registered in the breed herd book as Fromus Premier, was weaned and remains at Theberton, where he will be trained to be shown next year. The main herd has been moved to winter housing generously offered at Hall Farm, Great Glemham. The Trust's cattle manager brought in 34 bales of organic haylage, and other farms have provided straw and hay. Pregnancy testing on 18th December showed that, if all goes well, we can expect four calves in late summer and early autumn 2019.
Warm thanks to the Trust's Cattle Manager, Philip Baskett, for his good work.
Philip adds, "Lets hope 2019 is a productive year for our small herd of British Whites. Premier is doing very well, he has a new friend to keep him company and his training will start in the new year."