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On Sunday the 8th May around 125 visitors enjoyed a farm walk with Adam Neachell’s herd of Pedigree British Blue Cattle at Shrubbery Farm, Aldridge, Staffordshire. The day was fine if a little blustery at times but it proved an ideal climate for a walk around the fields of cattle on firm ground.
The farm has been in the family for many years and they have been the main Midlands agent for Ifor Williams trailers etc. for most of those years. The farm has 400 acres of grassland that is harvested in house as silage and hay. The hay mainly being for feed for the 50 horse DIY livery stables that are on farm.
The Cromwell herd has around 20 breeding cows at any one time and the aim is to increase these to approximately 60 breeding cows by means of their stock bulls and by selective embryos and AI.
Their first stock bull, Solway View Antonio by Serum D’anloy out of Springfield Tinga, had a very big impact on the herd producing many show winning progeny including a son, Cromwell Earl who was the Reserve Junior Champion Male at Carlisle in May 2010 selling for 6,000gns.
Bringlee Carlos eventually became their main stock bull and he was purchased privately from Graham Brindley in 2009. He was sent to Cogent for semen collection and his semen is now offered for sale. His first calves were born in 2010 and they feel very confident that he will further improve the herd. Carlos also has calves on the ground in eleven different pedigree herds
The family also own the Tradwell herd of Limousins and have in the region of 35 females combining both red and black genetics.
A presentation was given by Paula Scales of the Scarsdale Veterinary Group on Johnes explaining how difficult the infection was to discover in its early stages with the capability that it has to stay hidden in the immune system until it is triggered by an event of some nature and how important it is to keep on testing to try and spot the onset at the earliest opportunity. Brian Allen of Harbro Ltd then gave a short introduction to the company whom are livestock nutrition specialists and advised that they have recently become established in the Midlands area. Stuart Boothman of Cogent was also on hand along with Greg Brookes of Midland Feed Services Ltd to offer advice on their services.
After the trip around the cattle a very welcome Hog Roast lunch awaited and a chance to catch up and discuss the cattle with friends from the Borders and the Wales and Borders Clubs, some having travelled a long distance to attend.