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. [...]
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 [...]
This week’s farming focused on bulls and fertility! There’s wasn’t so much farming in my week this week between going to the Wexford Literary Festival yesterday (read about it here) and delivering a talk on Pinterest in Dublin during the week. This post comes with a mild warning for squeamish readers!
We did get four bulls tested for their fertility. It was the first time we’d done it and we’ll definitely do it every year now. We [...]
There’s a section in my book Would You Marry A Farmer? where I advise farm wives on the necessities they require when helping out on a livestock farm. They include a belt on your trousers, wellies and a sports bra. But what happens when you don’t have time to put them on?
7am and I was flitting in and out of sleep, the radio alarm had gone off but I didn’t really hear it. Brian was up a while [...]