The annual show & sale of autumn-born suckled calves takes place at Thainstone on Friday, 23rd September, where there’ll be a terrific show of stock on offer from top commercial producers.
One of this week’s consignments comes from Stewart & Amy Macpherson and family from Dell Farm, Whitebridge, Inverness, who make the 220-mile round trip twice per year to Thainstone to sell cattle.
The family farms 3000 acres (700 acres inby and the remainder hill), running 75 Simmental cross suckler cows and 500 breeding ewes consisting of Mules, Blackfaces & Texel crosses.
All cows are bulled to the Charolais, mainly to meet the demand at Thainstone. No females are kept as replacements so the family usually buys in-calf heifers or heifers with calves at foot.
‘’We’ve been selling through ANM for 30 years and previously farmed in Morayshire so we used to sell cattle at the old Elgin Mart,’’ said Stewart.
‘’We always receive a great service from the team at Thainstone. They treat all customers the same no matter how far away they are.’’
75% of the cows are calved in the spring from February, with those calves sold between six and 10 months of age. No store cattle are kept through the winter due to the high input costs such as straw and feed. The farm does produce all its own silage however.
This week, the Macphersons will be selling 20 autumn-born calves aged 10-12-months-old floated by the trusty Iain MacEachen Transport. Sired by quality Charolais bulls, they are introduced to creep through the winter and then turned out to grass with their mothers in May.
The calves are on hoppers outside and are then weaned in mid-July. They’re only housed one week prior to sale day.
‘’Our calves forward for sale have come off good, hard hill ground so they tend to do well for the next owners,’’ commented Stewart.
‘’It’s pleasing to have returned buyers coming back each year.’’
The family will have a draw of spring-born calves forward for sale in November.