Byerley calendar - what goes on "on the farm" activities throughout the year, agriculture, breeding, agistment, sales, racing, cattle, lucerne production and pastures.
January | February | March | April | May | June | July | August | September | October | November | December
- Foaling finished
- Off to the yearling sales – Magic Millions
- Runners Sale – Breeders select sound yearlings
- Classic Yearlings to maintain Yearling preparation
- Continue to cut hay for feed
- Stragglers in Steers to continue feed program for April Sale aiming at 400kg
- Mares now in foal or empty – Separation of Mares
- In foal Mares with foals (wet mares as they are providing milk for the foal)
- In foal dry Mares (dry mares no milk no foal)
- Pregnant mares given higher mineral supplement diet
- Empty Mares – vet checked and cleaned up to prepare for next breeding season – do not require high nutrient feeding as in foal Mares – allowed to drop back in condition to get rising plain next year
- Bushfire drills – constantly aware of dangers in drier times – equipment and stock handling, procedures in case of emergency
- Yearling Sales – Southern Cross Breeders Hats combine our marketing efforts with our friends @ Ashleigh & Riversdale
- Classic Yearlings prepare for sales
- Early Foaling Mares to have their weanlings weaned – Young horses taught to take head stall, be lead from the shoulder, pick up feet, use walking machine, feel comfortable around people, have their diet analysed , and have conformation assistance by the farrier to assess angles in legs and hoof development. Our job is to grow strong sound horses for the racing industry. 2 week weaning period to assess and educate our bloodstock.
- Mums have foals separated – mares stress for a short time (2 days) – weaned fouls mated up with friends as mares also mated with friend to reduce stress.
- Must check mares for mastitis
- Hay cutting to continue
- Prepare paddocks for pasture for next year
- offset disc to plough for trash seeder or use chemical spray ie Round Up to kill summer weeds in late February to allow for the Duncan Seeder for direct drill.
- Summer weeds kept under control
- Yearling preparation for Easter Yearlings – sale attracts greatest average and best yearlings in Australia . The cream of the Australian crop.
- Broodmares selected from stud and clients for sale – Do not need to have as intensive preparation as yearlings
- Pasture fertilisation and seeding continues to prepare property for heavy horse use in August – December. Plenty of soft green feed to improve fertility in mares and provide soft green feed for foals – pasture base of Legumes – Clover, Lucerne to grasses such as Rye, Oats, Phalaris.
- Weanlings now go to their own paddocks – separated into Colts and Fillies with a nanny to keep them settled during the night or during thunderstorms. Feeding protein and mineral diets to assist in growth and strength of bone – Farrier treatment every 8 weeks to make sure angles and hoof care are at best care to develop future racehorses.
- Hay season to continue
- Cooler weather around the corner
- Weaning continues in 2 week separation from mare
- Scone Yearlings are commencing preparation for sale and bought into yearling barn.
- Off to the Inglis Easter Yearling Sale
- Off to the Inglis Easter Broodmare Sale
- Lovely soft Autumn hay coming for horses Hay season coming to an end
- Weanlings – Late foalers to be weaned end of April early May
- All early Oats – used to clean up old Lucerne Paddocks or clean weeds in old paddocks are now sewn and may be watered to assist growth – Locked up in April to provide Winter feed early May through to October
- All pasture and lucerne paddocks prepared for sewing. Offset discs and trailing harrows work soil to powder to give a fine seed bed. Paddocks sewn with small seed combine and pasture rolled to complete sewing. Direct drill paddocks sprayed to kill plant competition – and sewn with Duncan fluted disc seeder. All pasture in …. Watered.
- Cattle fattened to 400 kg, off to market- do not want them to go through a cold winter where they burn fat to keep them warm
- Broodmares, pregnant. Mares separated into mobs to coincide with foaling times ie August/September Foalers October/November Foalers, December Foalers. Run mares in smaller groups and a distance from each other to prevent aerosol transmission of viral abortion or other transmittable viruses
- Dry Mares – Lower ration of feed , kept lean without being mean
- Weanlings – still growing – feed them 7 day a week, rain, hail or shine – checked twice daily – the most demanding of all – the studs lifeblood – drenched, inoculated, farrier, rising food patterns and diets as they grow – let them grow with protein and not fat – muscular and athletic with strong topline. We aim for consistent bone, muscle and angles.
- Fire season coming to an end – waiting for Autumn rains
- Scone Horse Week – Highlight
- Scone Yearlings off to sale
- Scone Horse Week – Racing at Scone $1.8 million prize money
- Scone Breeders Dinners – Awards for best stallions, best breeders, best 2 year old (Lauries Lottery best Hunter Valley 2 year old from Byerley Stud) – very prestigious dinner judged by your piers on your results
- Hay season over – Fertilise all paddocks and spray grass out of Lucerne
- Cows and Calves fresh pasture, wean calves in cattle yards , feed plenty of hay and walk through them consistently on foot or horseback to get them quiet. Rotate cattle grazing behind horses to assist in worming program – Steers and cull heifers on strip grazing on Oats – Lucerne paddocks
- Continue Mares feeding programs
- Continue Weanling feeding and rearing programs
- Southern Cross Breeders (SCB) – meet the studs, assess the stallions, what’s the best deal for S C B and our clients, what niks work, what works with the mares family, will they work well together in confirmation, will the market want to buy the yearling in two years time? Many questions to answer before the mare is mated.
- Colder winter months
- Larger weanlings back to barn for education
- On the road to sell and buy – Weanlings to pinhook, Mares for sale, use the studs agents to improve own bloodstock or assist clients
- Some client Yearlings, Weanlings and Mares to the Magic Millions Yearling, Weanling and Brood Mare sale
- Weanlings to the Inglis Weanling Sale
- Analyse Mares – nicks/crosses – who are we going to mate
- Steers strip graze through lucerne and oats.
- Cows commence calving. Keep cows in Airstrip paddock as it is close to yards. If cows need assistance calving we can get the quickly to cattle yards. Aim to have calves on Spring feed in August to maximise growth
- Dry mares in winter ……. Start to rug third week of July and increase feeding pattern to gain weight in order to stimulate mare into her breeding pattern.
- Weanlings to be given Corn, plenty of Hay, sometimes boiled feed and small box preparation to maintain constant growth rates in winter
- Horse paddocks and foaling paddocks carrying no stock in order to have clean paddocks for season
- Steers rotate through Lucerne/Oats – Cows have calves weaned – ready to rotate through paddocks behind horses, cows preparing for calving – commence June – July
- Early foaling Mares bought close to paddocks – gestation period eleven months and eleven days – prepare mares close to foaling – wax (colostrum) on teats, slack and long vagina, mares uncomfortable, come close to foaling paddocks
The 1st of August. The horse’s birthday and the season commences.
- Mares often foal at night ( 80%) - Belinda our foal watcher keeps a close eye on mares foaling and is ready to assist and check the foals – All mare Caslick's to be opened
- Foaling mares lay down and commence labour – water breaks – foal presents front feet first – one foot in front of the other with head tucked down – this enables foal to dive out of the pelvis. Once out – leave as 2/3 blood supply pumped via umbilical cord
- Foals – must drink colostrum – the mares antibiotic – an enema is administered to the foal to ensure no bowl compaction this is a safeguard procedure. Protoxin to assist in activating stomach bacteria and an IGG test to check the foal has enough antibiotic from colostrum is imperative. The foal watcher checks that all of the afterbirth has been expelled and no tears or bruising have damaged the Mares breeding passages
- After 30 minute – 1 hour the foal will attempt to stand, he is guided to the teat – whilst he is drinking he is gaining strength – legs to be assessed – If Foal is down in bumpers or weak in the legs he will need to be boxed till he gains strength in legs
- Wet Mares to be checked by vet on first foaling heat. Cleaned up after foaling is prepared for short cycle to get more in foal 21 days after foaling
- Dry Mares – under lights, rugged and increased feed in order to have Mares break winter anoestrous. Mares are now teased in August to detect cycle for breeding
- Vets will check Mares to ensure no infection, ovaries are active in producing good eggs whilst horse person is assessing Mares condition and teasing pattern
- The teaser is our most important horse, he arouses our girls with little gain for himself. He has to be well fed and handled as he is required to be Casanova for the next 5 months. His hardest job is jumping maiden mares to make sure they stand well for the real lover boys!
- More wet Mares foaling – Keep Mares to maximum 10 Mares and 10 Foals to paddock – the fewer the better – less disease
- Foals are very prone to lung disease such as rattles and strangles – minimise dust – low time in teasing yards, move and clean feeders – be aware of running noses and coughing foals
- Keep assessing foal legs. Mares with rich milk can blow Foals legs – may need locking up until legs strengthen – some corrective shoe extension or even more drastic strips and bridging operations may be necessary to correct growing deviating limbs on horses.
- Breeding assessment of mares critical – Vet use of ultra sound – able to detect fluid (infections) in uterus, proper ovulations, requirements for swabbing – ie: Clitoris and uterine swabs to make sure Mares do not infect Stallions
- Mares booked to Stallions for covering – Gestation 11 months – 11 days – 1st Mares covered 1 September
- One cover the best cover – less penetration less chance of infection
- Warming up – grasses growing, Lucerne hay in production, irrigators running
- Assess Stallion fertility – gossip mill going – which 1st season sire is having trouble?
- Who has the best Foals?
- What’s new on the market?
- Red Angus Bull in with the girls
- Foaling, teasing, serving
- Treatment of Mares for breeding – Caslick's, swabs, flushing of uterus, penicillin infusions
- Breeding DRUGS – Chorolon, regumate, lutalyse – Bring them on, take them off – Assist in holding pregnancy – Thanks God for Mother Nature!
- Who is in Foal, why not in Foal – is it the correct mating
- Foals continue to be born, new champions, new headaches. Take temperatures, assess Foal health, watch growth patterns
- The ultrasound – Mares checked for pregnancy at 14 days if empty – back in season at 18 days – ready to serve again – check why Mare was not in Foal – Measure cysts in uterus – are there twins, do we squeeze one, one pregnancy at 28 days with a heartbeat – looks good – Re check at 45 days then move to a paddock with less stress on Mare so we can concentrate on not in Foal Mares
- Hay Season – continue with watering, conditioning, raking and baling in small squares to large rounds
- Oats coming to end of cycle – Steers approaching 400kg and getting ready to sell
- Paddocks and hand feeding now in full production – Mares, Foals and Yearlings in Spring pitch of high protein and growth
- Cattle to follow Mares and Yearlings in paddock – use of trailing harrows to keep worm cycle at minimum in horse paddocks
- The crack- up month
- The heat has come, the flies are here, bush-fires around the corner, snakes are getting active, hot nights make it hard to sleep, Mares keep foaling, some Mares not going in foal – clients anxious – owners anxious – crew tired – but we push on through
- Feed generally starting to turn if no summer rain. Hand feeding of grain, pellets and hay required to assist Mares in gaining body weight to assist pregnancies
- Vet Work Constant
- Farrier work constant
- Dustier conditions make increasing awareness of lung problems in young horses via strangles and rattles
- Keep irrigating, conditioning, raking, baling lucerne hay
- Steers off to market end of November at weight of 400+ kg
- Calves on cows starting to put on weight now 5 months old and ready to wean in April/May
- 1st of the Yearlings to come in for Magic Millions in January
- 8 week boxed preparation
- Higher grain diet
- Lunging – 20 minutes every 2nd day
- Walking machine 50 minutes
- 1 hour yard run
- Rugging and grooming
- Oil and clean hooves
- Farriers work – first shoeing – more work on horses hooves due to increase in exercise regime
- Discipline yearlings – educate to bit, lead from shoulder, pick and oil feet, walk-out, examine structure, eating habits, work habits and movement
- 32 plates of x rays to examine joints
- Laryngoscope to check breathing passages
- 2 years work for 2 minutes in the auction ring – all effort to make him look good for his 2 minutes of fame
- Last of Mares will now finish foaling. A late foal is a small Foal so not as commercially sound – Can be 5 months younger in the sale ring so there is a big difference in the January Sale ring between a 13 month horse and an 18 month horse
- Small Foals – late breeding – generally speaking we should serve no later than the 15th December – some old mares where breeders want a filly to continue breeding from that family and are prepared to breed later as they see these mares days numbered.
- Maiden Mares – should not be bred after Mid – November as the 1st Foal is usually small and then a late foaling Mare will always be behind in the commercial breeding of sale stock
- Yearling preparation continues
- Hay making continues
- Merry Christmas and Happy New Year