While I don’t like to continue bemoaning the weather, it really has been one of the worst summers that I can remember.
Only for the hay and silage we made early in the first week of June this year, I don’t think we’d have managed to get a break in the weather to make silage without tracking the fields, let alone make any hay. It certainly was a case of nature taking over and deciding to rewet some land naturally.
Waterproofs are one thing I try to never skimp on (along with good boots) and having a breathable set of Gore-Tex ones certainly made life more comfortable in the humidity which went along with the rain - though I avoid barbed wire with them at all costs, as anyone who knows that material will understand by the price of them.
As it stands, we’re hoping for perhaps 30 more bales of silage in the next month, as despite the amount of rainfall, the couple of meadows we held up for a second cut are growing well.
All we can hope for at this stage is an Indian summer to make up for the diabolical July.
At least we didn’t have to resort to rehousing cattle like some farmers had to, though we did bring out some hay to them on wetter mornings in order to prevent them from walking fields for fresh grass.
Rain rain rain ?? ?? Cows got a quick move as they won't tramp the ground as much with more grass under them.— Karen McCabe (@LadyHaywire) August 5, 2023
I appear to have offended the lovely Ruby! Will have to make up for it with an apple later. She never refuses those #DoesRubyApprove pic.twitter.com/Zdv1yu3PX6
Frustration with scour has continued here, with another calf having to be taken back in for a course of treatment. At this stage, we’re seriously considering vaccination next year, not only to ease costs, but also for the welfare of the calves and ourselves, as there’s been dozens of hours spent minding calves which we certainly could have done without.
After sizing up the pros and cons of the new beef welfare scheme, we have decided it’s hardly worth the time and effort which would be needed for little return.
From work experience with a vet many moons ago, the memories of animals swinging tails at the wrong second, broken bottles and the occasional mixed up sample means the hardship of blood testing every cow sends a shiver down my spine.
At present, we’re training the cattle on our patch of ground away from the shed, getting them used to coming into the pen every few days for a bite of feed to make life easier for our herd test, as they now come running when they hear us arriving with a feed bag.
It also means we can keep a close eye on the one that’s due to calve next month, as she’s slightly thinner than we’d like.
Hello again ladies— Karen McCabe (@LadyHaywire) August 7, 2023
And a Deddeh in his summer jacket ?? pic.twitter.com/cdGPTfk9AL
While trying to get cattle in heat for breeding is still ongoing with two slow coaches holding up the show, I came across a very interesting find in my attic when I decided to clear it out and renovate it into a bedroom on a whim.
In one of those old American trunks, which a relative brought back to Ireland after deciding to return home, at the very bottom and in perfect condition, was an AI cert from June 1977 - an old Hereford bull by the name of Baytown Daredevil at the grand price of £4 for a first serve.
It was quite interesting to see that even the collection date for the bull was recorded on the slip back then. Certainly a docket to keep, though how it ended up there in the first place is anyone’s guess.
Clearing out my attic to convert it to a bedroom and found this in the big American truck ??— Karen McCabe (@LadyHaywire) August 2, 2023
Looks as good as the day it was written. Poor bull had an unfortunate A.I. code though. pic.twitter.com/TZv1KM2bjP