Me and My Dog: Lou Brightens Life

Lou with flowers in her hair ;)

One of the things I love about farming is that the vast majority of days tend to be different. They will have elements that are similar. We milk cows for over 300 days a year, in spring the calves are fed morning and evening, in winter all animals need to be foddered but other work tends to vary such as tasks like fencing, spreading fertiliser, spreading dung, grass measuring, dosing cattle, mowing grass, paperwork. If the sun is shining, it [...]

The Highs and Lows of Farming

Calf in Red

I’m tired. It’s not often that I’m really tired. It has been a busy couple of months: new calf shed being built, 130 calves born, and lots of finishing touches to Till the Cows Come Home which is being published in May. But it’s the relentlessly bad weather and all the extra work that goes with it that has made me tired. We knew the weather wouldn’t be great over Easter but the fact that it is continuing on for [...]

Why Triplet Calves are so Special

Triplets

Multiple births in cows can have some disadvantages: they can lead to complications, it can be harder for the dam to go back in calf again and if the calves are of mixed gender, it is highly likely that the female is a freemartin which means she is infertile. This happens because the testosterone from the male calf in the womb renders the female infertile. It’s not always the case and we have had a mixed sex female twin heifer [...]

Me and My Dog: Lou Saves The Day

2017-11-10 09.07.15

Sam is Brian’s dog. At eleven years of age, he’s retired now and works when he chooses to, when it’s a job he enjoys. Lou is mine. She is the first dog I’ve ever had who obeys me, who follows me around like a shadow, who is a good working dog. At this time of year, she accompanies me when I’m scraping and liming the cubicles, when I’m feeding calves, whatever I’m doing up the yard, and she gets me [...]

Which Calf Coat is Best?

Calves in calf coats

We started using calf coats last year as we were using large hutches to house some calves. We put the coats on at birth and left them on till almost weaned. As we’ve built a large calf shed this year, nice and airy but not overly warm on cold nights, we decided to use the calf coats again but remove after 3 or 4 weeks, wash and put on the next batch of newborns. We had about 40 coats from [...]