After a run of bull calves, we finally got our first heifer calf, a pedigree Limousin sired by Wilodge Cerberus that will hopefully make a cow here in a couple of years' time.
With only two more to calve in mid-summer, we decided to split that couple into a small area of pasture together, throw open the doors of the shed and let every animal out for the foreseeable, bar mishaps, which hopefully won’t occur.
Typical, when you want a bull you get a heifer calf by Wilodge Cerberus ?? pic.twitter.com/jVBaFDdm4v— Karen McCabe (@LadyHaywire) April 10, 2022
Of course, it’s never smooth sailing with letting young calves out for the first time. They seem to have some sort of magnetic pull towards the most awkward areas of the field.
While I always watch them in the field for the first half hour, it's difficult to keep an eye on them all.
From two fields away, I could only laugh as I watched one bull wander merrily across the field and fall straight into a drain 10 minutes after being let out.
You’d certainly want your Weetabix in the morning when you’re trying to push a 60kg calf over your head with a cow looking angrily down at you as if you were the one that pushed him in.
Some calves just find trouble....Panda's calf managed to slide into a drain where I'd to shove him up a near vertical 8ft incline with a very irate Panda bellowing above me. Currently trying to figure out what's dirt & what's thorns on my hands ??
Farming's easy ain't it ?? pic.twitter.com/TNsE6dtFw8— Karen McCabe (@LadyHaywire) April 3, 2022
Bar that mishap, all went well, although some of the cows almost had a coronary as they goggled at a donkey next door to them.
Having never seen one before, they scattered to the opposite side of the field once he started to bray, abandoning their calves to the fate of the noisy monster!
However, all’s well that ends well eventually and looking over the gate into a field seeing calves running about in the sun makes all the hardship worthwhile.
Should have said littlest one can be seen as she's hiding behind Mamma Nelly! that's Young Maxy's boy lying down. All cows & calves hopefully staying out from now onwards???? pic.twitter.com/Ng6wcjR0mR— Karen McCabe (@LadyHaywire) April 21, 2022
The arrival of dry weather also means it’s time to bring out machinery that’s been stored over winter and begin the summer rota of work. Despite everything being put away in full working order, there’s always something that crops up which needs to be fixed.
But this year presented us with a different issue, as we pondered why we’d put the topper at the very back of the shed, meaning we’d have to move everything else out before we could make a start on sowing our wild bird seed cover for GLAS.
It was akin to agricultural Tetris working out how to extricate it by moving the fewest other implements beforehand.
One issue we have on 15 acres away from the house is a continuous fight with ticks and redwater.
While we try to keep the same cattle on it year after year, we chose to put our replacement heifers and a cow on the land this year so they’d build up immunity for years to come.
While the price of Bayticol isn’t for the faint-hearted, it’s certainly a lot cheaper than a few vet calls or a dead animal.
Heifers all happy on their new ground this morning. Tis a bit breezy as always on this hill ??— Karen McCabe (@LadyHaywire) April 24, 2022
Holly is such a dote, can't escape her ?? pic.twitter.com/xqeiRtSjNj
Upon walking the land after trailering them up, there was evidence of a few woolly visitors which had been in and eaten a large portion of the spring growth we’d kept for the heifers.
While we have the land fenced for cattle, the wire is certainly too high to keep sheep out and however they got in, they did.
It just goes to show that even if you don’t have sheep, they’ll still find a way to annoy you.