Cornish farmers, Pat and Ken Bird, have won a Nugent stock trailer and a selection of Rumenco products after entering a competition at a local agricultural show.

The Birds moved to Cornwall 30 years ago from Leicestershire, where Ken’s family had been farming for several generations. After coming out of dairy ten years ago they now run a flock of nearly 300 store lambs through the winter and keep a herd of beef suckler cattle.

The trailer has revolutionised the way in which the Birds transport their stock. “We have already taken 110 lambs to market this week. We’ve never had a two deck trailer before, with our old cattle trailer it might take us five or six journeys to go to local markets, but with the new trailer we can take the lambs in just three loads which is a real timesaver.”

Rumenco are already well known to the Birds as their Maxx Energy licks are already an important part of the lambs’ diet at Middle Crackington Farm, especially after the high rainfall over the past winter. “The grass in Cornwall normally continues to grow all year round, but with the wet winter this year, we have got through more blocks and silage than ever before.

“We still get comments saying the finish on our lambs is as good as anyone feeding concentrates, but we don’t have the expense of using a bought in finishing ration,” she adds.

“The main aim for the farm is to make maximum profit, using a low input system which is why grassland management is at the centre of what we do.”

As ex dairy farmers, Pat and Ken have an excellent knowledge of grassland management. “We haven’t lost the ability to make good silage, it costs just as much to make poor quality silage as it does to make good silage.”

Grass type, mineral content and growth are all considered carefully. “There is no use in putting sheep out on a field of long grass that the cattle may have rejected. We take several cuts of silage and in late autumn, as the cattle are housed, the purchased store lambs are wormed and fluked on arrival, then turned onto clean pasture.”

The new stock trailer has made a tremendous time saving to the Birds, helping them to streamline their farming operations further, which should help to improve the bottom line, and keep the business moving.