While a lot of dairy farms are waiting for the flow of calves to ease off, I’m eagerly awaiting our next few calves to arrive. While I know smaller herds are much easier to manage, I find there’s nothing like watching new life arrive into the world.

Hopefully we won’t suffer any misfortunes like last year where we lost both a cow and a calf in separate incidents. Scour in the shed last year that no calf managed to dodge caused untold hardship and extra hours of work, not to mention the cost of treatment.

Once we finally got the cattle out to graze, a rigorous cleaning and disinfecting of the shed was undertaken, which seems to have worked with the calves born so far. With any luck we’ll be able to get the stock out earlier this year and avoid keeping them indoors for longer than needed after calving.

The two younger calves have decided on an earlier release from captivity, and jump through the barrier as they like, meaning bedding a pen isn’t always a guarantee they’ll use it, as they can be found in any pen.

On occasion here, as with all farm pets, we have to visit the small animal vet. What’s that to do with farming, you may ask, well, cats are used here for a lot of the rodent prevention, as I’m not a fan of using poison where it can be avoided.

The most recent chap turned up as a stray and took a liking to the place, so he had to get the snip and a previous injury also meant he had to have an eye removed.

While I’m used to handling cats, give me a 700kg cow any day of the week, as there’s no such thing as a headlock gate for a cat, and cattle don’t have limbs which come equipped with razor blades.

But I don’t like to see any animal in need of veterinary treatment, and so it had to be done. You’d be surprised at how many farmers would feel the same about a favourite cow, sheep, dog or cat.


It’s always nice to be able to show people around the farm, and while I’m a part of Farmer Time once again this year, with another classroom of kids to work with, we also had a couple of Estonian visitors staying with us for a few days.

Coming from Tallinn, a beautiful city which I’ve visited a number of times, they raved about the green grass, the beautiful scenery and even the cows in the shed were all videoed to show their friends back home.

A promise that they could choose a name for the next calf also made their holiday and they’re just as eager as myself to have a new arrival to the farm. Though my knowledge of the Estonian language might make for an interesting pronunciation.

The protests across Europe have been interesting to follow, and though Irish farmers haven’t caused the same havoc as our European counterparts, the frustration behind their solidarity is palpable.

Right now, farming as we know it is under threat from many different angles, and more than ever we need to stand as a united front against those who are questioning the value of farmers and look towards the future together.

We’re all working towards a similar goal in the same sector; production of food for the public at large and a fair price for our produce.