Where I milk, we Autumn calf, which is calving the whole herd as Autumn starts, with practically everything calved in by Christmas. The heifers are for the best part all calved in by early Autumn, but this year there was one little heifer that had not gone on with the main batch. Most of the heifers are Artificial inseminated (AI) and then the Angus bull they have runs with the heifers during the summer picking up any thing that may return. Steve who I work for at the end of the summer has anything he is unsure is still pregnant, Pregnancy diagnosed (PD) and this little heifer who he thought was not pregnant was around 3 months pregnant.
She was a bit small, but nicely made. More than often it is not a good omen when a heifer takes so long to get in calf, but she was given the benefit of doubt and hoped that she just was a slow developer, a bit immature and needed to grow on a bit more, as the reason for not going in calf at the same time as the others.
With all the rest of the heifers calved in he decided, because this little heifer was so far off calving to run her with the milking cows, during the winter and for the last five or so months, this little heifer has been skipping through the parlour. What at first was a little heifer a bit nervous of my touch, became happy to walk out of the cubicles with my hand gently scratching her rump. Then it happened, I should known better by now, but one morning getting her to rise out of the cubicles, it slipped out without thinking, a name. I said, "Come on little Tinkerbell, time to get up." "Setting myself up for nothing, but heartache," I told Steve, when telling him about accidentally calling her, "Tinkerbell," shortening it to "Little Tinks."
All seemed well and Little Tinks blossomed and grew a bit more, although still a bit smaller than her counterparts. She even got to know her name and around a week ago she was removed from the herd and put in the calving shed. She was nearing her time to calf and last Saturday morning I left milking knowing that by Tuesday morning when I milked again she would be calved. Milking this morning Steve arrived in the parlour and told me Little Tinks had produced a lovely tidy Angus bull calf, seemingly easily and she had then hemorrhaged really badly. The vet was called and they hoped that they had stopped it. She went through the night, but in the morning she tried to get up and hemorrhaged again and died within a couple minutes. Steve said he had never seen a cow lose so much blood after calving and the vet seems to think that because she was late getting in calf, may indicate that she hormonally was not quite right and the bleeding was likely caused because of lack of production of Prostaglandin which helps contract the uterus down and subdue bleeding from the detachment of the placenta. Even in this day and age, birth is still very precarious for mother and baby.
There is saying with farming "If you got livestock, you got dead stock." but it still does not make it any easier losing stock. I have told myself not to name a cow again. I've told myself that a few times over the years though milking cows, but I have no doubt around the corner there is another cow waiting for me to forget myself.
Last verse of the poem
Smudge has come on heat in the last couple days. It is really tempting to breed from a bitch one more time, especially when she is such a robust girl, with such a lovely easy going temperament and exceptional fertility, but after three litters under her belt, with two of those being c-sections (because such big litters stretching her uterus so much she could not have hard enough contractions to expel the pups) that is enough and I don't want her belly dragging on the floor. You would never know when you quit breeding from a bitch to early, but you certainly will know when you breed that litter one to many from them.
Smudge will be spayed now this summertime and enjoy her retirement from breeding here at Poundlane with her Mum, Millie.
The two photos in the slideshow are half-sisters Primrose and Belle. They share the same Mum, Ysobel. They were waiting for me at the back door and as the photos flick from one to the other, it looks like Belle is being a bit cheeky and sticking her tongue out at me.
In the previous blog was a photo of Blottie and Bumble sitting at the table, as if about to say grace. The reason they were sat there was because we had just finished eating a Big Full English Breakfast and they were hoping for some scraps.
We decided to forfeit Sunday Roast and have a Big Breakfast for lunch, as we have been busy doing logs this morning and the weather is holding still, so we are now off for a good walk with the children and dogs.
The slideshow below is some of the Poundlane pack whilst we were doing logs this morning.
Florrie made her soup for us all, that I mentioned on the previous blog, plus chicken in it. Whilst she set about cooking supper with her Dad, David as assistant chef. I made another attempt on going in to town to get Bert's suit. 4 pm and the mad rush (because most shops will be closed tomorrow on Easter Sunday), had subsided and Bert got to model his first ever proper suit. He has an interview next week, so why it was important to get it picked up and made sure it fitted okay.
“I want to sleep. To find a safe place somewhere, and close my eyes, and rest, like an animal.
That is what I am. An animal. Living from moment to moment, day to day, trying to make sense of the world in which I find myself.”
― S.J. Watson
Although Spring has just begun and the temperature has risen, the rain has decided to arrive for the Bank Holiday weekend. Weather to be by the fire with a bowel of soup.
Earlier I tried to go to town (Barnstaple) with our son, Bert to try on a suit that I had ordered in Next, which had arrived, but went to the first roundabout and saw the gridlock of traffic going into town and aborted the trip, going right around the roundabout and on home.
Thankfully the dogs got run out this morning before the heavy rain came in, but my husband, David just rang me from his car, watching the two boys in the wind and rain trying to shoot Clays and funnily though, they were happy has two pigs in muck.
So for dinner Florrie asked if she can make her Vegetable, tomato and pasta soup and a lattice loaf. As she told me, "It is soup weather, Mum." I have some cooked Chicken breast that needs using up, so I told her that she can make it, adding the chicken to it.
Milking this morning and on the way there I got to see a Barn owl swooping down the lane in front of me. Barn owls can be quite ghostly apparitions with their white undersides, swooping over you in half light and silence. Then an even more joyous sight. Two hares sitting on a crossroad I pass. My second sighting of hares this year already. We don't get many hares in this area, because it ain't real hare type of country. I think because of this, farmers in this area hold them in more reverence than in the big open crop farming areas and I know farmers in this area, who think it sacrilege to harm a hare.
Spring is on it's way in the cow yard. The cows have all slipped their coats and there is a lot of skipping, hopping and the occasional buck as they come through the parlour. A slight rattle of the gate out in to the meadows and within minutes the girls line up at the gate mooing excitingly waiting to go out, but they will have to wait a day or two yet for the grass to green up a bit more before they can be let out.
As I arrived this morning, just getting light, the dawn chorus was in full swing making a cacophony of sound, as birds defend territories and try to attract a mate. The morning arrival to milk inspired a verse of poetry.
Received a lovely update a couple days ago for Poppy from Julie. Poppy is from Dolly's litter born back the end of 2011, Dolly amazes us again !
Poppy was the smallest in the litter, but certainly not the least. She is Treacle's (who is having the next Poundlane litter) sister, but from the litter before she was born. She is from Reggie's first ever litter.
We are are still following and enjoying your blog. I loved the tadpole cakes and have noticed your scones look a lot better than mine ever do!
I especially enjoy seeing pictures of Poppy’s mum Dolly as I do think Poppy looks a lot like her. I’m still taking her in to a local school once a week on the Read2Dogs scheme. You would be amazed at how many 5-8 year olds that we’ve met who have never stroked a dog before. Poppy is really good - even when they try to stroke her fur the wrong way. They have recently moved us into a room with lots of soft toys within easy reach and I’m afraid Poppy has been caught a couple of times trying to shred the odd teddy. She has quite a few soft toys at home and, as far as she is concerned, shredding is what they are for.
She is a joy to have around and she constantly makes us smile.
I’m attaching some recent photos so you can see how beautiful she is!"
And I received a further email from Julie saying, "Pressed send before I'd finished!
Poppy looks tiny lying next to one of our cats - it is the cat that is huge!
Hope you are have a good week with all the birthdays.
Lots of love
Julie, family and poppy xxxx"
I'm afraid the killing fluffy toys is a Reggie trait. Reggie can also undo zips and kill dog beds, so all our dog beds have those flaps over the zips sealed with Velcro, but occasionally he can still kill them if the Velcro is getting a bit dodgy. You go in the utility and it looks like a snow storm of fluff.
Thanks Julie for staying tuned to the blog and as always lovely to hear about what Poppy's up to. She is super cute!
Bert had his 16th Birthday cake this evening and Blottie rather stole the show from her Dad, Henry who normally photobombs the Birthday cake photos.
The funniest photos though are Blottie drooling and then her Dad cleaning her drool up.
Nearly forgot to put this video on, that Bert had asked me to put on here for his 16th Birthday. Madness's coming of age song from 1982 'Welcome to the house of fun.' Let the games begin! Lol
― Samuel Butler
Hello, I am Jane!
You might of guessed, I love dogs. My family and me are situated in the North Devon countryside, England, United Kingdom. Our home is occupied by my husband, David, our children, pack of dogs and me.
On this page you can find out what we are up to.
Watch our litters growing day by day.
Also regular updates on how our pups are getting on in their new homes.
If you want to know more about what we are doing, you can ring me (Jane) on 01769 560969 for a friendly chat.