Monday, August 11, 2014

Birth and death. The circle of life spins around again.

It's so sad when a cow loses a calf. She just stands there with it as if she's willing it to get up. She licks it and nuzzles it and sits there with it the whole day. One of our cows had a calf this morning and it was dead. A perfectly formed baby with not a mark on it just laying there on the ground. Meanwhile we are beating ourselves up about it wondering what happened. We hate losing animals, that sad feeling never gets any better. I look out the window now and see Creamy still sitting with her dead calf and feel so sad for her.

Blondie and her new little one.

I discovered Creamy had a calf this morning after I had walked down the paddock to check on Blondie, who had her calf yesterday. Blondie's calf is strong, following mum around and drinking well. It didn't look good as I approached Creamy and saw the calf laying still on the ground. I stood with Creamy for awhile and talked to her saying it was alright, don't worry, these things happen sometimes, next time will be better. Yes I know I'm too soft. We weren't expecting any calves until next month so these are a surprise. We will be keeping a good eye on the rest of them now.

Petunia's new piglets.

We also had one of our Wessex Saddlebacks pigs, Petunia, farrow yesterday. She had sixteen with thirteen surviving. This morning Perky, another of our Saddlebacks farrowed. She had six little ones. It always amazes me that when you have the worst weather that's when one of your stock gives birth. Yesterday was a day of rain, showers, cold and snow on the ridges. I am now waiting on my Black Faced Suffolk girls to lamb. Let's hope all goes well with them. Hopefully they will lamb underneath the new shelter we have just put up for them. I noticed the girls have started to use the shelter where as before they didn't want to go near it even though our ram Leo was using it. Leo (Leonardo) is a good boy he loves a pat and a cuddle and a play. I have to watch out when I turn my back because sometimes he looks like he's going to bunt me and I don't fancy falling flat on my face. I know he just wants to play but he is stronger than me.

Gwendoline and Clover.

Leo (Leonardo).

The sheep shelter.
Update on our hand raised piglets. A few days ago we moved our five little ones down into the pig shed area. They were starting to really trash the garden etc. they are now three and a half months old. They are strong and healthy and look like they were on their mum all the time. None of that poddy look at all. Pinky's runt of the litter Milly has been living with them too. We really thought we weren't going to be successful in hand raising piglets but we did it. When the time is right to sell them I will be selling them as breeders. After hand raising them for all this time and becoming close to them I don't want to see them go off to the other place. 

Our 5 hand raised piglets and Milly.

The pig feed. Cadburys chocolate and grains.