Diary

CattleRSS feed

The byre

Sunday 17 October, 2010

by Rosemary at 7:59pm in Cattle 0 comments Add your own

Dan and I spent today (Sunday) preparing the byre for the arrival of the calves - hopefully this week. It has space for six tethered cows!

We've taken down the old hay rack as it was rotten, and Dan boarded up the roof space into the feed store - mainly to make the feed store bird proof. I swept down the rafters and walls - you soon learn to work with your mouth closed - then swept and vacuumed (truly) the floor. Ideally, we'd have repaired all the plaster and painted it, but we didn't have time and we have other plans for the area in the longer term anyway. I did try to remove any loose plaster and paint, though.

Shetland cattle

Saturday 9 October, 2010

by Rosemary at 8:35am in Cattle 1 comment Add your own

Regular readers will know that we have bought two Shetland heifers - Breeze and Blizzard. Their breeder contacted me this week to say that he plans to ship them around the 21st October, weather permitting. If the weather is too bad, the boats don't sail.

We're preparing the byre for their arrival. I intend to house them for a couple of weeks, so that I can hand feed them and halter train them - I'd rather do it at 7 months and at two years, when they calve. Although they don't get very big - 44" to 48" at the shoulder - there's no point in making it harder than it needs to be.

Caring for cows

Wednesday 15 September, 2010

by Rosemary at 8:09pm in Cattle 0 comments Add your own

I'm reading a book called "Caring for Cows" by Valerie Porter. It's very good - not technical or aimed at commercial cattle keepers. I'm feeling more relaxed about getting ours now.

Breeze and Blizzard

Wednesday 18 August, 2010

by Rosemary at 3:59pm in Cattle 0 comments Add your own

Thankfully not a weather forecast!

It is the centenary of the Shetland Cattle Herd Book Society, so a number of breeders from the mainland have been up on the islands. Barry Allen, the SCBA Secretary, was good enough to take a photo of Breeze and Blizzard and send it to me.

Shetland heifers

How they've grown!!

Popcorn and the pygmy goat

Saturday 13 September, 2008

by Rosemary at 9:14pm in Cattle 2 comments Add your own

I hoped to meet Popcorn today, but due to Blue Tongue restrictions, she wasn't able to come to Carlisle. Curious?

Popcorn is a three year old Irish Moiled x Jersey cow, well handled, nicely marked, used to being hand milked and in calf to an Irish Moiled bull. The perfect smallholder's cow. She was included in the catalogue for today's rare breed sale at Carlisle, but because of BT restrictions - she's in Scotland outside the BT protection zone and Carlisle is in it, she wasn't brought down. If she hadn't been sold, she couldn't have been taken home and she couldn't have been bought by anyone in Scotalnd or Ireland unless she was vaccinated - at least that's my understanding. So we only had photos of Popcorn - which is maybe just as well...

Thoughts of Cows

Saturday 7 February, 2004

by Rosemary at 9:01pm in Cattle 1 comment Add your own

We don't have any cattle and don't have room for any. But that doesn't stop me musing over what might be, if the six numbers come up tonight. What started me musing about cows was an advertisement in this month's "Country Smallholding" selling two Jersey heifers. If we had more land and I had more time (two big "ifs", I grant you), I'd like to have a house cow. I like cows.

In my gap year, some twenty blah years, I worked on a commercial dairy farm near Glasgow. I'll not bore you with details, but the cows there were Holstein Friesians, which are black and white and pretty big. These are very specialised dairy cows. I was fortunate in that the people I worked for were excellent stockmen and I learned an awful lot. Of course, in the intervening years, I've forgotten some of it but I still remember filling my milk container (perk of the job) with fresh, creamy (skimmed off the top of the tank), unpasteurised milk.

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