I was discussing issues with my son Colm and listing things that needed doing in the calf shed. I had to disconnect a water trough to one of the pens because of a leak.
As I prattled on, he interjected: “Mam, do you not realise, we are out the gap!” I was momentarily taken aback.
My calf numbers have reduced to 50 in the shed and 64 heifers have already gone to the heifer rearer, Billy O’Shea in Kildare.
I found this exodus from the calf shed very different three years ago but I’ve got used to it now.
So, yes indeed, milking has become straightforward and the work load in the calf shed is down to a third of what it was at the end of February. So, I had to agree that we are almost out the gap!
Promote what we do
For some reason, this spring seemed to fly. My main helper Stephen is out with COVID-19.
This has been a problem for everyone with employees getting COVID-19. Stephen is also disappointed at not being able to work. I’ve stressed that he must be well before he returns.
College students are particularly vulnerable to COVID-19 due to mixing with their friends.
Our beautiful farms have so much to offer young people
Their exams are also imminent and they need to be well. Meanwhile my transition-year student, Luke, steps in and is full of enthusiasm to learn about farming.
Our beautiful farms have so much to offer young people. We can broaden their understanding of what we do and give them a love of animals and nature that will travel with them for life. Hopefully they will speak highly of their experience on farms in their future workplaces. This is a powerful way of getting the public on our side. Promoting what we do while producing nutritious and fresh food is important.
Luke wondered what the story was with fertility! So he got a lesson on a free-martin and how it only affects a female calf
Luke is not from a farming background and it is lovely to see how much knowledge he has amassed already about calf rearing and cows. He got to the shed before me this morning. He reported two cows calved with two Angus bull calves. One calf was a bit stressed and I was anxious to get colostrum into him. My husband Tim arrived on the scene and immediately realised that the calves were twins. Luke wondered what the story was with fertility! So he got a lesson on a free-martin and how it only affects a female calf that shares the uterus with a bull calf.
My grandson Ricky got COVID-19 for the second time. His babysitter also got it a second time.
He was very sick and it was awful to watch the little boy in distress. The tears poured down his face, not crying, just eyes streaming and he couldn’t understand it as he brushed them away with his little hands.
None of the rest of us contracted it from him which proves the value of being vaccinated and boosted.
I worry about our healthcare staff in this new wave of COVID-19
There is no doubt that we are still in challenging times. Dad is in Tipperary University Hospital with a chest infection. Unfortunately, there is a COVID-19 outbreak in the hospital, meaning we have to stay away. It is tough not being able to visit him. The staff are difficult to contact because they are so busy.
However frustrated we feel, it must be awful for patients to feel that they are abandoned and alone in hospital. I worry about our healthcare staff in this new wave of COVID-19. Just when they were getting their heads above water they are submerged again.
Kindness to others that are absolutely doing their best to serve a demanding and ungrateful public is the only way forward
So when the ward phone had rung out for the fifth time, I tried to remain calm even though I had to dial anew and ask again to be put through. It was answered by a lovely nurse called Claire who gave me all the information I needed and a plan for the next few days.
There was no point in starting with “this is my sixth phone call...”
We don’t want them to change career. We need them to stay and continue to provide us with healthcare
Kindness to others that are absolutely doing their best to serve a demanding and ungrateful public is the only way forward.
Our kindness and patience might just prevent another nurse or doctor from throwing in the towel.
We don’t want them to change career. We need them to stay and continue to provide us with healthcare. This week my family needs the expertise of Tipperary University Hospital and I am grateful to you all.