Posts Tagged With: cows

Calving has started!!!!

We have seven calves on the ground so far. The first one was a fortnight ago. Most of the cows have had at least one calf previously,so we expected it to go fairly smoothly. But surprise, surprise, the very first calf had us a bit worried. I had been watching the cow all morning and could tell she was starting to go into labour. Knowing this particular cow was about to have her third calf, I expected it to be born after just a couple of hours, but after three hours I began to get suspicious. Sure enough when I had a closer look I noticed the calves hooves were coming out upside down. So either the calf was head first, but rotated, or it was the back legs. Either way, I thought we should have a closer look. We walked her carefully to the cattle yards, and after scrubbing up, I was able to determine that it was the back legs.

09 Calving 01

This is the second most common presentation of calves before birth, so I wasn’t overly concerned after all. We left her in the yards, to keep a close watch on her, ready to call the vet if the calf wasn’t born within the next couple of hours. Sure enough, after ducking inside to have some lunch, and when I came out to check on her afterwards, there was a gorgeous little black calf on the ground.

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Here he is just about to have his first drink…..

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As soon as possible after the calves are born we ear tag them, with their regulation disk that is required when they’re sold as well as a tag that links them to our farm, and has a number of the year, and then a chronological number that matches the order in which they were born. So the first calf’s tag number is 401 (4 for 2014, and 01 because he’s the first one).

This is another one, just about to be tagged.

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The majority of our cows are poll Herefords, however we have one jersey angus cross, and she has the daintiest little calves, very petite compared to the Hereford calves. Being a dairy cross she has an amazing bag of milk so her calves do catch up very quickly. This is this year’s calf.

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So we only have four cows left to calve. One of these is a heifer (first timer) so she will be the one we need to keep a close eye on.

Categories: The Farm, The Menagerie | Tags: , , , , | 1 Comment

Processing the corn!

Finally harvested the last of the corn yesterday.  Feels good to have it all frozen ready to see us out for winter.  Everyone in the family loves corn so its great to have a good supply throughout the year.

corn cob photo

 

Most of it we picked a couple of weekends ago, and my wonderful parents peeled it, cut it into meal sized portions and froze it for me.  This is huge job, and usually very messy with all the tassels ending up everywhere, so I’m so grateful for that help!

Frozen corn cob photo

Once we have picked all the cobs off the stalks I always pull them out of the ground break them off at ground level (because the ground is too hard to pull them out!!) and feed them to Pickles and BJ.  They LOVE them.  I think they are particularly appealing because there is no other green feed to be seen anywhere at the moment!

Cows eating corn stalks

This is one row of stalks – I have four more to feed out, but I thought one row a day would do them!

Categories: Cooking and Preserving, Home Grown, The Menagerie | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

BJ gets a Pedicure

BJ is our bull – and yes you read it right – we gave him  a pedicure!  As you can see he is a big enormous black angus bull.  He has been in with the main herd of cows since early January, and when we took him out we noticed he was limping a bit on his back feet.  Closer inspection revealed some very overgrown toes!

bull photoCam wanted to have a go a trimming them on our own, but thankfully I convinced him that we needed the vets assistance (i.e. lots of sedative!!).  We had to keep him off food for 24 hours prior, so he has been limited to the cattle yard since yesterday morning.  At 8am this morning we managed to coax him into the narrow race with some yummy lucerne hay, and the vet gave him an injection of anaesthetic into a vein under his tail.  We then had to get him out of the race before he fell asleep.  We did manage to get him to squeeze his way out, but we needn’t have worried, he’s a bull that likes to sleep on his feet!  After waiting for about 15 minutes for the sedative to take effect, we could see that he was VERY drousy, but he was still standing, so John the vet decided to give him a bit of a top-up.  Being that he was so sleepy, we didn’t even need to contain him to do it.  Cam, my husband held up the tail, and John did the needling.  Another 15 minutes later, still no lying down, but very VERY dopey looking, we decided to give it a go in the standing position.

Bull photo

As you can see, he is really out to it!  He has never had a halter on before, and that rope is just looped around the fence!  I just wanted to cuddle him when he was like this.  Normally he is no where near tame enough to touch!

Here are the finished toes, not quite Hollywood standard, but I’m sure he will be much more comfortable!

Bulls feet

While he was out to it, I couldn’t resist getting a photo of his gorgeous eyelashes!

Bulls eyelashes

It was all over and done with very quickly, and now I just need to keep and eye on him for the rest of the day, to make sure he wakes up okay, and get him back onto feed and water later this afternoon.

Later…

A couple of hours later he is still a bit drowsy, but had managed to wander over to the hay pile for a bit of a nibble, so all good!

bull foot photo

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