Wednesday 10 December, 2014
When the vet was here last week, we were chatting about the cattle and I said tat I'd like to try multisuckling but it was hard to source calves locally, since Angus doesn't have many dairy farms. And of course, I'm very keen not to introduce any disease.
She was telling me that there's a new 600 cow dairy opening the other side of Dundee fairly soon and our vets will be their vets, so there may be the possibility of getting a calf or two from them. That would be good :-)
Wednesday 10 December, 2014
Finally, after a couple of false starts, we brought the female cattle home on Tuesday – Breeze, Blizzard, Annie, Bonnie, Sunny and Rosie. They’re now settled in the barn on a deep straw bed. The two bullocks are still at our grazing; I’ve put the wheeled hayrack out today, filled with straw, and a new molassed lick but I did feel a bit sorry for them. I guess Hamish is missing his mum L We’ll move them into a fresh paddock the weekend before Christmas – it has a wee wood attached, so has really good shelter for them.
Tuesday 25 November, 2014
Wee Mak, the bull, is safely home. Why Wee Mak? Middle letters of his name "Kingmaker" and he's wee. At some point, he'll be Big Mak and then even later, "Big Mac".
He travelled well and has settled fine; he's naturally nervous as he's been running 1000ft up in the Peak District with the herd and little human contact. However, a morning bribe of soaked sugar beet with some calf nuts on top is helping him to settle down. He'll now accept a good scratch on his neck and shoulders. TBH, he'll be lonely and he likes the company, even if it's only a human.
Friday 14 November, 2014
Dan was preparing to drive to Derbyshire next week to pick up our new stock bull, Wharncliffe Kingmaker when we got the results of his BVD test. His TB test had been fine.
His BVD test showed that he was positive for the BVD antibody but negatve for the antigen. The negative antigen result means that he is not a PI; the positive antibody means that he's been in contact with the virus - this could be through contact with the virus itself or from vaccination. In young animals, the contact can be via the dam's colostrum. The breeder confirmed that the bull had not been vaccinated.
Wednesday 22 October, 2014
Phew, vet’s office called this morning to say he’d be here at 9.30am. I expected (hoped) we’d be the last call of the day.
The cattle came in fine; the four cows were haltered and tied up with some hay; the three calves were haltered and left to throw them selves around (well, Rosie was OK as she’s been haltered before) and Charlie was put out in the field with some hay as he was being a pain in the tonsils and trying to mount the others that were tied up. Always has an eye out for the main chance, does Charlie.
Tuesday 21 October, 2014
Vet’s coming to scan the three cows and the heifer; castrate the bull calf; blood sample the calves for BVD testing and jag the heifer calves to ensure they aren’t in calf.
We’ve got new halters so there’s one for every animal, without having to use the ponies’ halters.
Thursday 2 October, 2014
We moved Storm, our bull, back to our rented grazing a couple of nights ago. He and our 2012 bullock are going for slaughter next week and we've arranged for the haulier to pick up there rather than here, as we're doing work on the barn and track next week.
He's quite canny and loaded a dream; but now he's away, I can get in and give the girls a good scratch and a cuddle :-) He was put in with the cows in August and has been running with them for nearly ten weeks. If last year's performance is anything to go by, all four should be in calf. If they are, it will be Breeze and Blizzard's fourth pregnacy, Annie's second and Bonnie's first.
Monday 11 August, 2014
We brought Storm home on 22nd July to run with the four cows. There was much "actvity" when he went out and he seemed to spend a couple of days with each of the cows pretty much in turn, starting with Breeze. I never saw him serve any of them - I saw him try to mount Breeze but she wouldn't stand for him. I'm not worried about not seeing him work as we didn't see him last year either, and he clearly did :-)
You'll recall that the three cows calved on consecutive days in May this year - our vet said that in small herds, oestrus was sometimes synchronised naturally.
Tuesday 22 July, 2014
Our bull, Storm, had a run in with some wire a few weeks ago. All was well - healing cleanly and he wasn't lame but the scab's come off and the flies were on it so we took the trailer up today to contain him so we could get some antibiotic spray on it.
I planned to put him out with the cows 12th August, aiming for the same calving dates as this year (23-25th May) but I decided if we were getting him in the trailer anyway, we'd bring him home a bit earlier.
The calves are just over eight weeks old and, if he serves all four cows today, our calving will be 1st May, which is fine.It means Bonnie's a wee bit younger than I would have liked but she's quite well grown.
Monday 21 July, 2014
Well, Saturday turned out to be a wee bit damp for the show, but at least there was no danger of the livestock overheating :-)
We packed the car with most stuff the night before and we were up early but somehow, we were still rushing to get away at just before 8am. How does that happen?
Thankfully, Annie and Rosie loaded like a dream - even though Rosie hadn't been on the trailer before.
The "Other Native Breed" section had a small entry - actually, just us. It's a real shame. The organisers work so hard - since we started the Festival, I have so much sympathy for, and empathy with, them.