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 [...]
Although the weather would make you think it is the middle of winter, many dairy farms will be starting their breeding season in just a couple of weeks. We start it here around 4th May so it’s a while now since we chose the sires for our 2017 calving season. A lot of work and science goes into presenting the results, facts and figures for each bull and then by the farmer in digesting all of that and making decisions. [...]
Mary, Mary, Quite Contrary, is the reason this Hereford-Friesian calf is called Mary. Yet, by the end of her third day of life I had to admit there was definitely something about Mary. She was a tad infuriating for the first couple of days of her life although, being so young, it’s not like there was any point getting cross with her.
We had Hereford calves last spring for the first time in decades and they all took to food like [...]
I suppose all calves are special but when you have 135 of them being born in a relatively short time, it’s not really possible to have a soft spot for all of them. There are some factors though that make a calf stand out. We tend to name a few partly because it’s handy to be able to say ‘check number 2305, he’s a bit off colour, he’s in Bruce’s pen’ rather than having to say ‘check 2305, he’s in [...]
Cows aren’t natural ballerinas or gymnasts. You probably knew that already. They can run fairly quickly if they want to but aren’t that dexterous. That creates problems if a cow decides to go for a dance or inadvertently slips and falls. If they fall, they are usually fine, just like a child gets up and walks on, they do the same. However, the odd one will ‘do the splits’ and go down. If they go down and can’t get up [...]