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Hello from Eastern Europe

  • 02-01-2022 1:22pm
    #1
    Registered Users Posts: 230 ✭✭ golodge


    Happy New Year everyone! After a very good request about creating my own separate thread about our family's farming life, finally decided to do it.

    My family lives on eastern part of Lithuania. We run a suckler farm. Have around 400acres our own land, plus ~200acres of leased land. All land is just for forage or grazing. At the moment have abit over 50 suckler cows, however, with some heifers calving this year going to go over 60 cows. My parents moved to the country in 1999, started with chickens, then sheep and in 2004 bought our first crossbred heifer. Then started buying bit by bit some cows and heifers. In a couple years there were already 10 cows. Almost completely stopped buying females from other farmers. Our latest purchases were purebred limousine weanling heifer, two weanling heifers from neighbour and two three month old pure angus heifers. Our herd is mostly bred from our first cows. I actually like that. I personally know a couple generations of each cow, know what problems had some families, etc. We do buy bulls for breeding. At the very beginning we used to use AI, then used our own bred bull one year, another our bull next year and then bought pure lim bull. Used just bulls for several years, then once I started getting interested in beef farming, started using some AI again. Last year I've finished Veterinary Medicine studies and started doing AI myself. That actually was very helpful, as our herd bull had a breeding injury after serving only 7 cows. Our main breeds were mostly Limousine, some Charolais, Angus. Now introduced into our herd such breeds like Parthenaise, Blonde, Piedmontese. Started using Belgian blue and Simmental more.It was just three years after going into AI more heavily and the first heifers born from AI and bred with AI themselves are due just this year, but there is a noticable improvement in the quality of the animals.

    I would call myself a beef cattle enthusiast, as doing research about different breeds, doing my own experiments with crossing some breeds, talking about cattle is my hobby. Many people are very surprised about how many breeds we have used and still have in the herd, and most don't see the point in doing that. Well, it's everybody's choice what direction they'll go.

    Going to post some photos in the next my posts. Any questions are welcome.



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Comments

  • Registered Users Posts: 773 ✭✭✭ minerleague


    Great idea for thread, often saw posts from you before in livestock picture thread ( great looking cattle ) How is price of beef there ( Is our own Larry Goodman there yet? ABP) How do you winter stock?



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  • Registered Users Posts: 4,294 ✭✭✭ alps


    Fabulous stock and fabulous looking farm. Your grass quality is really good..

    Can you tell us a little about your growing season, grass growth and yield, inputs etc?



  • Registered Users Posts: 773 ✭✭✭ minerleague


    What breed are those dutch bulls VRB ( a type of belgian blue??)



  • Registered Users Posts: 512 ✭✭✭ Ard_MC


    A really interesting thread and I am a sheep farmer! Has fertiliser got expensive over there?


    Great stock. A credit to you.



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  • Registered Users Posts: 230 ✭✭ golodge


    It's the only Dutch beef breed- Dutch improved red beef, or VRB- Verbeterd Roodbont. Characteristics very simmilar to belgian blue, but quite new compared to others and not widely known breed.



  • Registered Users Posts: 8,916 ✭✭✭ Say my name


    Fair dues for starting the thread @golodge . Lovely stock. But I don't envy the weather. 🥶🥶

    Would your stock breeding breeds be typical of your area?

    Any problems from wolves and bear predation? Boar breaking fences etc?



  • Registered Users Posts: 230 ✭✭ golodge


    Yes, almost everything went up in price. Fertilisers price went up 5 times, some even more.

    We have a couple sheep for own needs. Mostly Texel cross. Used some other breeds before, but now settled down to texels.



  • Registered Users Posts: 10,077 ✭✭✭✭ Base price


    Do you save hay or make silage for Winter feed or both.



  • Registered Users Posts: 230 ✭✭ golodge


    Hay and haylage in bales. Hay mostly for cows, haylage for youngstock. If temperature is too low, then only hay for all, as haylage turns into an ice block. Always trying to make way more hay than needed. Use an year old hay bales for bedding, as there is no possibility to get straw in my region.



  • Registered Users Posts: 3,795 ✭✭✭ davidk1394


    Are you Lithuanian yourself or did you move from another country?



  • Registered Users Posts: 230 ✭✭ golodge


    Born and raised here, my parents and grandparents too.



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  • Registered Users Posts: 3,795 ✭✭✭ davidk1394


    Sorry, I wasn't sure 😅 I look forward to reading this thread going forward



  • Registered Users Posts: 557 ✭✭✭ dh1985


    This is a really interesting thread and fair play for taking the time to post and respond to questions. Always enjoyed your photos back through the years in the livestock thread. One question I have is how did you come by posting on this particular forum in the first place.



  • Registered Users Posts: 230 ✭✭ golodge


    Ohhh, that's a good question! I actually did a google search of farming related forums almost 10 years ago and found some, which became good place not just for some information, but also good way to practice my English. Not 100% sure that it was the same with this forum, but either this way, or I've searched a particular stuff farming related on the internet and one of the results was this forum, and after some research I found it quite interesting and usefull. Not so sure after all these years though. But it's one of these two options.



  • Registered Users Posts: 2,136 ✭✭✭ jfh


    Great idea for a tread, I've seen your cattle before in the Livestock photo and was impressed. Good to hear a different story, just one question, do you calve all year round, I see a really young calf there in one of the recent pictures



  • Registered Users Posts: 6,695 ✭✭✭ funkey_monkey


    Lovely to see your land type. Keep the photos coming. Great to see the docility in your animals.

    Also your English is perfect, congratulations.


    You say your grazing season is from May until October. Are they housed only from October to May or do they have access to shed and field during this time like in your photos above?


    What way is the 600ac split between fodder and grazing?

    Also how much machinery do you keep and what work goes to the

    contractor?



  • Registered Users Posts: 230 ✭✭ golodge


    Try not to. Heifers strictly start calving in April, usually finishes by June. Cows start in December, sometimes January. Don't want many winter calves, but needs to have some, so usually have +-10cows calved in winter and all other start in spring. Want to have all calves born before June, but sometimes there are some summer calves. Those cows usually are moved to winter calving.

    Bull starts work in April, leaves the herd when all are moved home, so usually in October or November.



  • Registered Users Posts: 230 ✭✭ golodge


    In during grazing season they move frlm field to field, so winter pasture is left either to graze for weanlings or, like two years ago, have sown some grass and made some haylage from this field.

    About one fourth is just for making feed, slightly less just for grazing and everything else is for both. Usually in those fields cattle are grazed on the second or third grass.

    We do everything ourselves, so have mostly everything what we need: two tractors, baler, rake, wrapper, seeder, etc.



  • Registered Users Posts: 1,199 ✭✭✭ cjpm


    Your English is so perfect I assumed you left Ireland!! Well done.

    Very interesting to read about farming systems abroad, keep it up



  • Registered Users Posts: 230 ✭✭ golodge


    Thank you!

    Actually, all farming related forums, videos helped to improve in English way better and way faster than school. Remember at first had to have a vocabulary by my side, when writing something, while now it rarely is needed, but still have alot to learn.



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