Beef on the hoof and off itRSS feed

Posted: Monday 30 November, 2015

by Rosemary Champion at 11:58am in General livestock Comments closed

So what’s happened this week at TAS HQ? Weather has been changeable – which is what we’d expect for the time of year, I guess. We’ve had periods of heavy rain, but not sustained and in between times, things have dried up a bit. We had our first snow yesterday but it was wet and didn’t lie.

We’ve had a couple of frosts, but not heavy. But we’ve got the polytunnel door open, so hopefully bugs will be getting killed off. It’s almost cleared out – I’m hoping to get to that and the weeding in the fruit garden this week.

Tuesday was good –well for us anyway. The vet was here to scan the three cows and they are all in calf. What he could see tied in with the dates I had in the diary so we reckon Rosie is due her first calf on 1st June, Annie her third on the 4th June and Blizzard, her fifth on the 26th June. All are now past the stage of pregnancy where they might slip the calf, so we can relax. And so can Mak, who’s done his stuff and will be around for another year.

While the vet was here, he took blood samples from Vicki and Robbie, our two 2015 calves, for testing for BVD. And he jagged Vicki to stop any unplanned pregnancy. I don’t think Mak was interested in her (or Clyde, for that matter).

Since they were all tied up, they got their first application of Closamectin pour-on for worms, fluke and external parasites. Mak and Hamish were also done, after being bribed by a bucket of sugar beet to stand still for a few minutes J. The pour-on is easy to administer but I’m probably using chemicals I don’t need too. I’d guess our adult cows don’t need wormed and I’m not sure they have any external parasites either. I will have to review this for next year.

The vet’s other job was to castrate Tiny Tim, the last of this year’s tup lambs. Timmy was a triplet – he was only 2kg when he was born (but feisty) and when we came to send the tup lambs to slaughter, it wasn’t worth paying £50 to turn him into lamb. So we decided to have him castrated and either run him on for hogget or sell him as a lawnmower or companion for a tup. In fact, he’s gone as a companion. Tiny though he was, he was all tup and he has worn a track along the fence line between the paddock he was in and the ewes. He’s a wee cutie and quite predisposed to be friendly (despite his loss and the application of ear tags).

Timmy left for his new home on Wednesday, so Ted is in with Taylor and the ewes now. There’s no sign of green bums so far, so if this remains the case, Taylor and Ted will be out about 12th December.

On Saturday, we drove up to Dallas (Moray not Texas) to pick up a 2015 red and white steer called Fraser, which was bred by Sue and Steve Richards. Since Robbie is our only homebred steer, we wanted a second one to run with him. We took Robbie up to Astwood on Saturday morning then headed off for Fraser.

The wee guy seemed to travel fine although it was pitch black by the time we got home. We did him with Closamectin pour-on and let him out – then waited to check that he found the other three boys ok. Which he did, with much bawling from them all. They’re in a new paddock with quite a lot of grass so hopefully Robbie and Fraser won’t miss their mothers too much and Mak and Hamish will be too busy eating to be bothered bullying them. Blizzard bawled on Saturday and a wee bit on Sunday but is fine today.

And we got our beef back yesterday. Thank you, Charlie, for your bounteous gift. So a number of beef boxes have been handed over for real money; we had rib eye steaks last night for dinner and the freezers are full. Life is good J

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