Wednesday, May 13, 2015


Rise and shine with the sun, up early shortly before eight. After some toast and jam for breakfast, April was once again feed. Calfs drink a lot of milk
Once the morning necessity had been completed, Catherine and me where back to delivering hay bails to cattle. James took a few load in the beginning but went of on his quad to who knows where in the end whilst us other two had a drive around. We had a check up on the the young cows with calfs in paddock “Five” where there where some dead cows lying around. Well, that is how it is. Lots of calfs and a few dead cows. We saw no cows in distress, but in the paddock “Driveway” a cow had had twin calfs. That always seems to be a fickle situation. James said that in 25% of cases one twin dies, 30% both die. This cow had left the stronger, mewling calf behind and was tending the weaker calf by her side. Without intervention the stronger one would die of hunger or cold after a while. So we rounded her up and dropped both her calfs and her in to a smaller paddock with hay. That way she would have a reason to stay in the paddock with the two calfs. We where lucky the birth was seen soon enough, as any longer out in the paddocks further away from the house would have left one calf dead. That seems to be a pretty common thing, actually.
Once we had that sorted out we had some lunch. James shot a rabbit a few days ago that was eating the bark of his new trees, so that was our lunch. As the rabbit had been hit with a shotgun round you had to make sure you weren't eating any shotgun pellets. After lunch I had a check run for the spooked cow and the calf. We still weren't sure if the calf was hers or if she had accepted it and James had only seen her in the morning on a check tour, not the calf. Coming over the hill in a ute I saw from quite a distance that they where together and turned around and left them alone. Coming back I took a drive with James to one of the further away paddocks, “Lucern” and “Top”. We took a tour up the top of the hill at “Top” and let the hay bail roll all the way down until we had a nice stretch of hay. The cows and calfs appreciated it and we left. Getting back James took his tractor with a contraption for hay sorting on the back to another part of the farm whilst I started to get the chain saw running to cut up some wood. I managed a few tree trunks when the chain saw gave up and I had to readjust a screw. In the meantime James had returned and was getting an old saw running for smaller stuff. A disc saw you powered with the back of your tractor. As he had done some repairs and changes he was the one to try it first whilst I cut him up some pieces. By the time it was getting dark we stopped with a bit of a bigger pile for fire use.

After some chicken dinner Catherine and me had to feed the fresh twin calfs some milk, as we weren't to sure the mother had. A bit of a drama in the dark. We got to one calf but it would just not take the milk. By that point the mother had lost her fright of us and was getting closer so we backed of. The one we had been trying to feed got up and followed her whilst the other one was standing in one spot. Luckily this one did take two bottles of milk and will most likely have enough energy to survive until the morning. The other one was scampering around the cow, but to stupid to figure out how to feed from her teats. We had one problem, the cow was thirsty and there was no water in her trough. What does a cow do? Go to another place with water. A fence in the way? Squash that. After lots of VERY SLOW arm waving (don't want another spooked cow) we got her back in her pen. Next thing, fence is squashed again. Catherine and me lost her and her following calf whilst we got the other one beside some dry hay and just closed of the whole area in the end. Catherine spotted a shadow moving across somewhere and after some looking with the torch, two pairs of eyes shone back from the other end of the enclosed space. We left her and her following calf at that and went inside for me to write the blog and the rest to go to bed.  

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