Two weeks ago I wrote about how quiet and boring everything was on the farm. I jinxed myself with those words.
To start off, two heifers aborted. I found the in-calf heifers and the younger cows had mixed in the shed.
Given they cows were confined to the slats this winter while the heifers had access to a straw bed, they ended up kicking off a bit more steam with their extra space. The ensuing row led to the two heifers losing their calves.
More than one abortion was of concern and set off alarm bells.
Strong consideration will be given to doing a similar blood profile of the in-calf heifers next autumn
I called in the vet to see if there was any worrying underlying issue or if it was a once-off. All the replacement heifers were blooded and the foetuses were sent to the lab.
Thankfully, the results were clear so it was just bad luck. The bloods were clear of salmonella and leptospirosis.
One heifer yet to calve showed up with neospora, so she will be one to watch.
Strong consideration will be given to doing a similar blood profile of the in-calf heifers next autumn.
Having put my mind at ease with those two animals, one of the young bulls was off form and required a vet visit. He was a bit lethargic and not grubbing well.
Thankfully, it was a digestive upset and, following a short treatment, he’s back on the road again.
This bull had a slight rupture underneath since he was born and never kicked on, despite the potential of his breeding.
While he was unable to leave the cattle station for a week, he was grateful to have escaped with no losses
My on-farm issues, however, are a mild inconvenience compared to what Australian breeders in northwest Queensland had to go through. A monsoon-type tropical storm hit the area and has left vast tracts of land under metres of water.
A friend of mine’s property received an inch of rain a day for 10 days on the trot. But that was a drop in the ocean compared to the coastal area three hours east from him, where they got 1.2m of rain in the same time period.
While he was unable to leave the cattle station for a week, he was grateful to have escaped with no losses.
It’s hard to comprehend the figures. They are staggering. Areas that had experienced up to seven years of drought ended up receiving two years’ worth of rain in 10 days.
I can’t imagine what it is like to deal with something like that. How would you deal with the emotions of initially welcoming a decent day of rainfall and that turning to horror as it doesn’t stop?
The current estimates are that up to 500,000 cattle were lost.
To put that into context, that’s the same as losing all the dairy cows in Cork and Limerick or all of the suckler cows in Munster, Galway, Mayo and Sligo combined.
It’s a sad reality about the current agriculture production model we have, that events like that are required to create a deficit in whichever commodity that we’re also producing for it to benefit us.
This is especially visible in pigs where you now need a disaster to fall on a pig population somewhere else in the world for our own to recover.
The same can be said of most products I suppose.
That is the way of business and life, while you’d like there to be fairness in both, it doesn’t always work out that way.
Farmer Writes: we are running faster to stand still
Farmer writes: slurry ban and dreaming of another good summer