I am able to update the blog now as we were literally just about to go out to weigh the cattle from the sheds and administer their bluetongue vaccine booster but the heavens have opened in a sudden deluge and instead I find I have a few spare minutes to quickly tap the keys before starting another large task. It is very cold, and very wet and I think I am now not sorry to be stuck indoors.
The 400 acres of drilled spring corn and our first row of early potatoes in the garden will benefit from the rain. Unfortunately we had not quite finished rolling all the arable seed beds after drilling, but as we have had a run of almost perfect weather there are few complaints. Within five minutes of the squall arriving the tractor drivers have phoned in to say they are now returning to the yard.
Our first suckler calf of the season, a heifer, was born on Saturday and is doing well, although her mother is currently not in the greatest shape and is under the care of the vet. This particular cow had lost condition and has had blood tests to try to work out what is wrong when she is eating well and well in herself but she is lacking in condition. We knew she isn’t ill, as such, as she gave the vet and I such a run around in the yard on Thursday when he came out to examine her. Eventually, after several attempts of nearly getting her to the gate [even with food] only to have her return to the far end of the yard we had to let out Ruby the pet cow out in order to get them both up the race and into the cattle crush.
Persuading Ruby back into her byre after the patient was safely penned was slightly perilous too. It is Ruby’s first time out of the byre this winter and in the warm sunshine she was very frisky. I waved a bucket with food in the bottom from the end of the yard and she is so greedy that she galloped up the concrete, flat out, kicking her heels out to one side as she ran. I stopped her quite easily but then rather lost my nerve to continue with persuading her to go back to bed as her byre was still some distance away and she was desperate to get at the food even if it meant barging into me. I handed the bucket to Jethro [who had just arrived] and he grasped it, rather like the baton in a relay race, and sped down the yard with his naughty red heifer galloping flat out after him…