The Mystery of the Bloat-Inducing Milk Powder

Rua Beag

The start of the calving season is always a slightly anxious time. We’re looking forward to a new year of healthy calves, seeing how new heifers in the milking herd perform, hoping that all calvings go well and that the cows adjust well to leaving their winter hibernation and getting back to work by providing us with milk twice a day. It’s always a good feeling once the first few calves are born and all is well. We had been [...]

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 [...]

What Might Be “Borrowed” From Your Kitchen During Calving Season

Essential Calf Feeding tools

 

It has come to the end of the calving season. While we stocked up at the beginning of the year with essentials such as stomach tubes, calf bottles, long gloves, iodine, milk replacer, tags and every other essential for the calves not to mention the essentials for the humans such as bars and bars of chocolate, I still have quite a long list of things that need to be replaced in the house.  I’m not blaming Brian. As chief calf [...]