Maggie Moo passes an important test

Maggie Moo here again 🙂 I’m getting really big and I’m really enjoying being out in a huge field with lots of lovely green grass to eat. We moved away from the field near the yard about 4 weeks ago. It was nice there as we could see the farmers working, we could see the cows going in to be milked and chat to them as they walked back to the field after milking. Sometimes the hens came up to the field too to peck around and say hello.

An Irish Farm with windmill

We’re more grown up now and can be more independent so we are grazing over at the outfarm on a huge 17 acre field for a little while. The farmer is going to divide it and put yearling heifers on the other half and once we have grazed it, he has plans to plough it, till it and plant new grass seeds so that it will grow even better grass for the next ten years.

Testing cattle for TB

We’ve had a busy week here at Garrendenny. The vet came for two days to do the annual tuberculosis test. We were all brought into the shed on Monday, we really weren’t sure what was happening – he usually brings us in if he is moving us back to the home farm or if he is going to give us a vaccination or medicine. The vet gave each of us two injections on the neck – if one produces a lump, it would mean we have tuberculosis and would be very serious. The other injection is like a placebo, if both produce a lump, the vet can measure both and check that the TB one isn’t bigger.

Irish cattleAn Irish country road - Co. Laois

She came back today to check us all so we all had to come in from the various fields again. The farmers said that today was much quicker, she just had to check for the lumps and it’s always an anxious time. If any of us had TB, we would have to go to the factory. The herd would be restricted which means that the farmers wouldn’t be able to sell any cows or heifers to other farmers until they get two clear tests in a row. It was particularly important today as an AI company, Progressive Genetics, want to buy one of the bull calves who has a high EBI (Economic Breeding Index) and if he does well, he will provide semen and father lots of lots of good dairy calves. ?The farmer rang them to say that the test was clear and as the foster home were out collecting another calf, they came to collect him. We were sad to say goodbye to Mick but glad that he is going to a good home. They have seven other bull calves there at the moment, all in quarantine, so he will be able to make good friends and have a lovely life too when he goes to the AI station.

He has an EBI of 327 and it’s 50:50 on milk and fertility which is proving popular at the moment so hopefully he will do well. We think it is hugely exciting that another of our herd is going to an AI station.

Garrendeny Calf

The farmers are wondering what to call him. Progressive Genetics have told him that they can choose a name. The last calf to go to an AI station (Dovea) was called Garrendenny Lucifer by the company. Garrendenny Mick doesn’t do anything for them! ?He needs a more official and important sounding name! ?So, Garrendenny what?? Do you have any ideas?

Progressive Genetics will be coming to take a photo of his mother for the catalogue at some point! I don’t think any of the cows here have ever been shampooed before – the farmer asked them if they wanted her to do it or if they did it. To her relief, they send an expert cow washer and she asked if they’d like to do the dog too!

Suggestions welcome for Garrendenny XXXX’s name – of course, there are no guarantees that he will provide semen for AI and be featured in the Progressive Genetics catalogue but here’s hoping.


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