The Joy of Ambling – for Humans and Cows

Cows ambling along an Irish country lane

Do people amble and relax and meander as much as they used to? Do we meander and daydream and stare into space as much as we should? Mobile phones are great but they mean we are never bored, not bored enough to daydream. I know that if there’s a ten-minute wait when I’m collecting my teenagers that I spend the few minutes checking twitter or sending an email or making a phone call or reading an article. If I’m waiting for them [...]

It’s always good to be alive

Tree in Ireland at Autumn

Without wanting to sound too morose and, dare I say it, a ‘stereotypically grumpy farmer’, it has been a tough year for farmers this year. Between the late, very wet, very cold spring which meant winter extended into May, and then a drought during the summer, it’s been a year that involved a lot of extra work as we were still doing winter work for weeks during the heatwave. Without even thinking about the bank balance, a lot of farmers [...]

Bovine Sibling Love

Susie

Do cows know when they are related? Do mothers and daughters stay close? What about sisters? We’ve often noticed cows that are twins grazing close together. Sometimes cows will form a mother and daughter bond even if they aren’t related. Lucy, one of our favourite cows, was lying in her cubicle recently (yes, she has her own cubicle and no other cow dares to try and lie there) and on either side of her were two of her daughters, Lucy [...]

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 [...]