Is it Spring?RSS feed

Posted: Monday 3 March, 2014

by Rosemary Champion at 8:54am in General livestock 1 comment Comments closed

If it's not Spring, it certainly feels like it's on its way.

We're feeding the pregnant ewes now (and the very greedy ewe hoggs that are runnng with the singles); the Heptavac should arrive tomorrow for rapid adminiistration - a glitch (Dan thought I'd ordered it and vice versa) means we'll be a few days later than usual, and the tup and cull ewe go away on Wednesday.

We're to be at Dunblane by 8am, so we're going to load them on Tuesday night and leave them with hay and water so that we can make a quick, stress free getaway in the morning. The two have been in the byre together for more than a week, so they're quite happy to bunk up together and the trailer's well big enough for two. I've filled out the movement licence and got the tags ready, so I think we're OK. I'm not really looking forward to it - Nellie was one of my favourite ewes.

We applied pour-on to the four cows yesterday fo fluke, worms and external parasites. They really only needed fluked but the pour on is so much easier to administer than a drench so it's a compromise.

Our Saturday was slightly disrupted by a call to say Storm, our bull, was out of his field. He hadn't gone far - in fact he was grazing beside the fenceline because the two bullocks were still where they should have been. Their paddock was pretty bare, so we moved all three to a fresh paddock, which should keep them happy.

The four cows will be going up to Astwood in two weeks for a couple of months. I had a walk round and there's a good bit of grass and it's remarkably dry underfoot. The cows will be up there until we bring them home to calve in May and all seven cattle will run together. The downside of this is that it's probable that Bonny will come into season and Storm will serve her - and this is a few months too early. Keeping them separate up there isn't an option - Storm's a jumper and George is a runner-through :-(

So after discussion with our vet, we've decided to have Bonny jagged 10 days after she comes back here; this will bring her into season and terminate any pregnancy. The jag is more than 98% effective if administered between 10 and 100 days of pregnancy and doesn't affect future breeding. We might have her PD'd later just to make sure it worked. We've done this three times before successfully, but a fellow breeder had a jag fail, the resultant calf died and they almost lost the heifer so I'm a bit more anxious that I have been previously.

Anyway, better go and feed the starving hordes :-)




Friday 28 March, 2014 at 1:19pm

I feel your pain. We just have a few chickens & I have had to cull some of the males we bred. My husband refuses to do it & I wont have another do it as I would rather know they were dispatched quickly & without stress. I had to do some chicks the other day. They are cream legbars. I thought it may be easier , but in some ways it was worse. It is all part of responsible breeding . I know of some animal keepers who keep all animals that come their way. That often results in cruelty of overstocking & being unable to keep them healthy & happy.That is far worse in my books.

I have just found your blog & am enjoying reading it. Thanks for taking the time. Its no mean feat with animals to raise.

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