There’s nothing like random aches and pains to remind us that none of us are getting any younger and I’m one of those folks who is always rather indifferent to occasional niggles.

Unless I physically can’t move a limb or there’s a deep cut which requires stitches, I nearly always convince myself that it’s only something small and there’s no reason to bother a doctor about it.

It appears to be a typical farmer mindset that we just keep going until somebody forces us to do something about it, which is why I’m currently going around smelling delightfully of Uddermint for a bad back.

Whether it was fertiliser bags or dragging a calf which caused it this time, we’ll never know but it has forced me to take things easy for the last week.

At least it happened at a quiet time here on the farm as for the first time since last August, we have an empty cattle shed. With the arrival of two more heifer calves in quick succession, they were all evicted outdoors in the sunny weather. While they’re yet to be tagged and dehorned, at least they can feel the benefit of the sun for a while and have less risk of scour, which plagued us for the last couple of years with young calves.

It also means less stress on our meagre supply of hay from last year which has dwindled down to just 10 round bales left over for a couple of stragglers calving in June.

The latest calf to arrive, although a chubby little thing, wasn’t responding to the cow’s encouragement to stand and duly had an At Birth tube administered into her mouth.

Originally, I thought they were nothing more than a gimmick but after using them on a few calves there’s almost an immediate difference in the calf’s energy level and their attempts to stand and suck.

Within five minutes she was sucking her own tongue, showing more inclination to stand than in the previous two hours and was up having her colostrum straight after.

With most of the fields now having received treatment for rushes, it’s one of life’s little pleasures watching them turning brown, though they can’t be cut soon enough to put an end to the ticks latching on to both humans and animals when passing through pasture on a daily basis.

While it’s been many years since we’ve had a case of redwater, likely due to our hesitation to buy in stock, it’s an illness one can never be fully lax about checking, especially with yearlings.

We’re currently following behind the grazed fields with fertiliser and the roller in an attempt to not break our necks when walking through them and, with the meadows beginning to bulk up, things finally seem to be coming back into some sort of order for the rest of the year.

But despite a watchful eye on stock numerous times a day, and a strong bull calf among the group, we’re still finding it quite difficult to catch cows in heat.

Whether it’s due to the long, cold spring or simply short heats, it’s definitely time they were put back in calf as a few have been calved for months now. Hopefully, a fertility lick and hotter weather will cause some action, though I’d nearly put money on a few arriving into heat immediately if a bull arrived in the field next to them.

Thankfully our small vegetable patch is doing great since the weather has warmed up and we’ll soon be ready to harvest our first potatoes.