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Archive for February, 2012

Hooray x 2

Saturday 18 February 2012

Do you remember Milly, the cow that needed a caesarian in November 2010 (details are here)?  She calved again on Thursday and this time everything went according to plan.  She delivered a live and healthy female with just a little bit of help from Gordon, and is very much in love with it.  She always was very maternal, going as far as ‘luring away’ calves that weren’t hers by putting herself between them and their mothers.  Calves tend to follow legs we’ve decided so it doesn’t matter who owns the legs as long as they’re close to the side of their head.  By bumping a calf in the head and then walking away it’s pretty easy to get them to follow even if the legs are human.  Unfortunately despite the constant nudging and licking Milly gives her calf, the baby doesn’t understand the concept of feeding so once again we’ve resorted to the faithful teat-bucket full of Milly’s milk.

The second ‘hooray’ is because we’ve been cleared of our TB restriction after sixty days.  The vet came during the week to re-test our inconclusive cow who was being kept in solitary confinement – which she absolutely hated – and this time she passed.  Oddly enough, when she was first found to be inconclusive DEFRA accepted the news over the phone and the movement restriction began immediately.  Now we’ve had the all-clear it could take “several weeks” for the paperwork to be finalised.  Gordon was slightly irritated whilst on the phone with them to tell them the good news and wanted to know the reasoning behind such a delay.  They weren’t able to give him an answer.  We now have seven bull-calves waiting to be sold.  One cow has had two calves on her since almost the beginning of the year so the sooner we’re able to sell them, the sooner she’ll be able to rejoin the herd.

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Tuesday 14 February 2012

Yesterday the District Council Planning Officers toured the area to look at our patch of land from different perspectives.  They went up into the Quantocks and looked down, then went to the Mendips to do the same thing.  The aim of this exercise was to see how much of an impact the turbines would make on the landscape.  In order to help them get an idea of where the turbines would be – roughly, it has to be said as they were over a kilometre from the location of the first one – the anti-group thought they’d launch a blimp to the expected height.  Gordon watched as they attempted several times to get it into the air before it was finally pulled down, never to appear again.

Why couldn’t they get it up (if you’ll pardon the pun)?

The wind kept catching it and threatening to blow it across the motorway.

Gotta love the irony!  According to the papers the whole operation was a great success.  I don’t think so!

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Nothing Much To Report

Friday 10 February 2012

The reason I haven’t posted for a while is that very little has happened for the past week or so.  Mrs Ellis’s funeral was yesterday and well-attended even though Mr Ellis often said that no-one else visited her whilst she was in the hospital or the care-home.  I found the whole day a bit surreal to be honest, but then funerals can be like that, can’t they?  Both the girls came home on Wednesday evening and left again on Thursday afternoon once we were home from the crematorium.

We began milk-recording on Wednesday evening; the first time it’s been done since the foot-and-mouth outbreak in 2000.  At that time we were doing it regularly once a month even though I wasn’t involved with the milking then, but everything that involved visiting multiple farms – reps and milk recorders in our case – ground to a halt.  A lot of the reps never came back and neither did the milk-recorders, but at the end of last year we decided to start again.  If we intend to eventually become a pedigree herd and sell our surplus heifers then milk records are useful.  Gordon ‘appointed’ me for the task and although I was nervous, never having done it before, it turned out to be pretty straightforward and much quicker than I anticipated.  Now we wait for the results to come back and we can keep track of who’s doing what.

My car failed its MOT again this year and was moved into the garage for repair.  As usual it took over a week to source the necessary parts and I drove it home yesterday, but it sounded awful, blowing out a cloud of black exhaust fumes all the way.  When Gordon has a chance he promises to take it for a spin to see for himself, which implies (correctly) that he doesn’t believe me.  In the meantime I have no need to go anywhere so I’m quite happy to leave it sitting there.

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