December 31, 2009

This is the start of a long story that will cause consternation to some farmers but bring a smile to the face of others.  It is a salutary lesson on how to keep a new daughter -in -  law  happy.

So, the story begins.  The farm has traditionally been a fattening unit.  Cattle are bought in either as young calves or animals that required fattening (stores).  They often come in batches of 20 -40 at a time. Sometimes the dealer buys fantastic looking stock that has been hand reared and are easy to handle. On other occasions the stock have been bought from the back of beyond and they are so and sos to get through the crush for injecting and weighing, or cause chaos when moving down the lane to a fresh field of grass.

Calf with mother on left (437 tag in her ear)

437 – or Henrietta as she later became known, was not an animal that had been hand reared, she came in a batch of 40 skitty Limousin cross steers and heifers.  They were moved to the far end of the farm into a field called Summer Meadow, it was the Summer of 2005.  Richard was on his morning routine check around the farm checking the cattle and he had to do a double take because he found a new born calf in the field of wild limousins.  This was unexpected news because the farm did not run a suckler herd and all of the cattle were destined for the beef  trade. In addition, the heifers were only about 15 months old and therefore if they had given birth, this meant they had been served by a bull at the age of 9 months which is not good practice nor beneficial to the heifer.

Suprising news, but quite exciting to find a calf on the farm.  Chris and I were off to the Three Counties Show that weekend (but that is another story) and had to pass Summer Meadow to get to the show.  On the way to the show, Chris suggested we went and had a look at the calf ( I am sure this was to cut down the amount of shopping time I would have). We must have hunted around the field for over an hour looking for this calf pacing up and down like a police line out, but found nothing.  A little heavy hearted, Chris said the calf must have died in the hedge so we carried onto the Three Counties Show.  Fortunately, when we returned the next day we found the young calf.


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