The Future of Milk, Sick Calves, Interesting Research From The Past and an 11th Lactation Cow

Milk Quota Is No More

Well, the milk quota is well and truly over now – we are 12 days past it and every possible future scenario has been flagged by farmers, journalists and advisors. Irish dairy farmers will be paying superlevy fines of up to ?75million spread over the next three years. It sounds mad doesn’t it? I do wonder why so much expansion had to happen before the quota actually ended. The end of the milk quota has been [...]

Irish Farmers and Irish Water

Irish Water has been in the news quite a lot lately but it’s not that long since water was a very popular topic in rural areas. We don’t have piped water in a couple of the calf sheds and as I’ve been carrying buckets of water to them, I started thinking about how it’s not all that long since farm women had to carry buckets of water to the house every day of the year – water for making tea, [...]

My Farming Week: Hereford Calves, Baking Cakes and an Ideal Farm Wife

I used to be a reasonable baker.

I quite like baking as you can put everything into the mixture, put in the oven and just presume it will turn out alright. If it doesn’t, there’s nothing you can do about it at that stage. That’s what I liked about it – there was no expectation that this seasoning or that herb could be added during the cooking to improve the taste. Mix, put in oven, eat. Simple.

Before children, I hardly ever [...]

My Farming Week: Flighty Calves, Paper-Eating Heifers, Red Spray and The End of an Era

Between the bank holiday for St Patrick’s Day, the children being off school for two days and the fact that I wasn’t doing any training or mentoring, I’ve had a pretty full on farming week. I’m doing 2.5 days of training next week and I know I’ll probably end up with a croaky voice as a result. Teaching requires a lot more talking than the occasional chat with calves and cattle!

Telepathy Alternatives

16 cattle went to the factory on Wednesday morning [...]

My Farming Week: 9 Commandments for Calf Rearing

101 calves born, two deaths but a very good calving season so far. We still have to work out our sexed semen success and our heifer : bull ratio – at last count we were about 56 dairy heifers, 5 beef heifers and the rest in bulls so the ratio is pretty good. Here’s my nine commandments for successful calf rearing – well, it’s keeping me going and the calves thriving!

9 Commandments for Calf Rearing

#1. Thou Must Be Patient

Patience is [...]