Calving under wayRSS feed

Posted: Monday 6 June, 2016

by Rosemary at 9:38am in Smallholding 1 comment Add your own

So we’re into flaming June and the weather continues dry, with some warm days. We still have a fairly persistent easterly wind, which is keeping it cool a lot of the time. We’ve had to start putting the sprinkler on in the vegetable garden – Dan puts it on at 6am for an hour or so. I hate to say it but we could do with some rain.  :-)

We planted out the sweetcorn, some squashes and the rest of the peas and beans. The celery failed sadly, and I fear over rigorous weeding means we need to resow the parsnips. My excuse is that the rows weren’t marked and parsnips are slow to germinate, so when I resow this week, I’ll mix the parsnip seeds with radish or lettuce seeds.

Ulrika went off to her new home yesterday so that’s a happy ending.

We moved the gimmers and wether to our bit of grazing near Arbroath – I received a text from the farmer last week saying “please send sheep; lots of grass”, or words to that effect. We did them with Crovect before we unloaded them and we’ll do the rest of the sheep over this week. Looks like one of our bottle-fed lambs is going to a pet home too – the wee tup, Wallace, who featured in the local paper. Leaves me a bit tight for lamb boxes, but hey, it’s a nice story.  :-)

The new bee colony seems to be fine; the bees that were transferred to the nucleus have found their way through the grass bung and are now flying well. Today, Dan will be going into the parent hive to knock off the surplus queen cells.

But the big news this week is that we have two calves – both bulls.

Paulo Shetland bull calfPaulo, Rosie's Shetland bull calf.

Pedro, Shetland bull calfPedro, Annie's Shetland bull calf.

Rosie had a black boy on Friday and Annie had a white boy yesterday. Rosie was very quick through her labour but Annie seemed to take ages; by 7pm, I was a bit worried so I called a friend who’s a vet and he said I’d be better to call the emergency vet. She had been showing feet, then they had gone and she didn’t seem to be making much effort – in fact, she’d gone off grazing by that time. So called the vet and a few minutes later, Annie lay down, gave a huge heave and we had feet and a nose, so I gave her a wee hand (because I was there, not because I thought she needed it) and wee Pedro popped into the world.

Another call to the vet to say that “all is well, please don’t come”. Rosie’s calf is called Paulo, after a friend of ours. Vicki, our yearling heifer, was fascinated by the birth process and by the calves.

Shetland herdRosedean Shetlands - cows, heifer and calves.

The two calves will have their mums to themselves until Thursday, when we start milking. I decided to wait until Annie was ready to start milking before starting Rosie, as she’s never done it before. So by this time next week, we should have our first milk.



Tuesday 7 June, 2016 at 2:14pm

Congrats! I myself had a few problems calving this year and had to pull a few, due to a lot of grass in autumn though I should think and all the feed they got over winter. Big healthy calves = happy moms and owners all around :)

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