First calf of 2023 / Tatties / HensRSS feed

Posted: Monday 24 April, 2023

by Rosemary at 8:37am in Smallholding 1 comment Add your own


Week ending Sunday 23rd April

We’ve had the loveliest weather this week , and better than forecast. I hate to say it, but we could really do with some rain. We’d had the sprinklers on in the garden Saturday and Sunday evening.

However, that made it a good week for a calf to be born and Blizzard obliged at about 3.30am on Friday. Her due date was the 1st May, but when they’re cooked, they’re cooked. Dan said he thought she was close so I checked at 2am, and right enough she was starting.

I let her out into the nursery paddock. By 3.30am, I was a bit concerned; I could feel a foot. I called the vet, filled a bucket with hot water and when I got back, the calf was born, she was up licking it and he was looking around. I called the vet and he very kindly said he’d rather be called out and turned back, than called out too late. Which made me feel less of a numpty.

calfJust born.

Blizzard and her wee bull are doing well. He’s bouncing around with a belly like a drum and she loves him lots.

calfSix hours old.

I brought them both in to the barn today (Sunday) and plan to milk her tomorrow to get some colostrum. One down, three to go.

barnAbout 26 hours old and meeting Dad.

Early in the week, Penfold had a swollen abdomen. He seemed entirely fine otherwise and I told Dan he was probably constipated. The swelling went down and I felt vindicated. Then it came up again, so Dan took him to the vet on Thursday and he was back in on Friday for blood tests and an ultrasound.

The Thursday vet found a heart murmur, so any surgery – or even sedation, is probably out, but a happy pill (Gabapentin) and he sat fine for the blood sampling and ultrasound. Turns out he has a cyst on each kidney; the vet drained 300ml of fluid. He seems fine; the vet is happy to drain regularly, if they refill over a month or so. If it’s more frequent than that, we’ll need to see. His blood test results were fine though, for a ten-plus year old cat. His kidney function isn’t 100% but he’s not in kidney failure. He’s been with us ten years and wasn’t a young cat when he came from the shelter.  We will keep him comfortable.

I cleaned out the hay rack in the field shelter because Blizz will be going in there on Monday - best grass on the farm.

hay rackHay rack grass.

Still busy in the garden; Dan put the potatoes in – Caledonian Rose. And we planted out the peas – Hurst Greenshaft. I’ve been potting up and sowing as well. April and May are all gardening and calves.

gardenTattie bed and pea bed.

Dan did a bit of work on the steps in the byre; we didn’t finish them when the renovation was done. Just the coir matting to go down now. It’s looking good.

byrestepsByre steps.

The hens have a new favourite perch – Elsa, the white hen, is the ring leader.

hensHen perch - l to r Merida, Ariel, Princess Layer and Elsa.









Saturday 29 April, 2023 at 5:54pm

Hi all, I am new to this site.

So not sure if I am doing this right.

I am farming 60 acres (I am guessing that is a smallholding in todays agricultural environment).

I currently have 70 pure bred Golden British Gelbvieh cattle

And a flock of polled dorset and polled dorset x Berechon ewes

So slightly overstocked at moment and looking to reduce stock quite a bit over coming months as I am 72, farming single handed and due to ill health need a bit of down time.

Just wondering if anyone here is interested in the Gelbvieh breed or knows anyone who is?

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