Nearly half way through November and I recall the beginning of September being told, we are going to have one of the longest hardest Winters on record. Well it better get a move on, if it's coming.
I like Winter, the nights drawing in and the hardship of it when you work outdoors, it gives you an appetite. Last Saturday morning when I was milking I got up in the dark and I must admit to sitting looking over my bowl of bran flakes and sultanas (that reminds me sultanas are at critical level. As well as tomatoes I also have a very slight sultana addiction. I had to eat granola this morning, because it had sultanas in it, to get my fix. I think I burnt off more calories eating the stuff than there is in it) thinking it might just do as a pillow, but outside the rain was coming down like stair rods and the wind was howling like a pack of old bitches on heat. When I opened the door to go outside any sleep was washed and blown from my being and I lent into the embrace of wind and rain and got soaked through just going to open the gate and get in the car. On Saturday night when we went to the firework display, you could not believe you could have such different ends of the same day, by the evening the wind had gone and not a spot of rain.
Yesterday morning milking yielded a pleasant surprise, on going to one of the calving pens and seeing 668 standing looking at me with two very good sized Angus/Frisian bull calves lying at her feet. She had calved the previous evening with reasonable ease, both calves you would of been happy if each were just a single. 668 just alive was good to see, because the last time I saw 668 was just over two months ago after heaving my guts out helping get her unstuck and then on her back in the bucket of the telehandler heading out towards the fields.
One Tuesday morning as I started milking, she had come into the back yard of the parlour and another cow had bumped her and she lost her balance. Unfortunately she happened to lose her balance and went down right in the doorway to the back yard of the parlour which made it impossible for her to get up. She struggled and ended up lying on her stomach with her back legs straight out at the back, which although not good, is better than when a cow does the splits. I knew I could not do anything for her alone and went to find Steve, who I milk for. He came and he rang his neighbouring farm for a couple more hands to help and with the use of the telehandler, we managed to get her out of her predicament with not to much drama and Steve took her on her back in the telehandler bucket out to a field and it then would be just time to see if she would get up okay and if or what damage she had done to herself.
Come the evening milking that day, Steve told me she had got up. He had put shackles on her back legs, just encase she had muscle, nerve damage. Shackles help hold the cows legs together as they get up and really help if a cow has weakness behind after a fall or bad calving to recover without further injury.
So seeing 668 yesterday morning with two strong bull calves was pretty amazing after her falling and being pulled and tugged around to get her out of where she was stuck . Just can't believe she did not slip (miscarry), after all that, especially as she was carrying twins.
“The greatest pleasure of a dog is that you may make a fool of yourself with him, and not only will he not scold you,but he will make a fool of himself, too.”
― Samuel Butler
Me (Jane) with Puddin' and Teagol, waiting patiently to flush a patch of kale, December 2019
Hello, I am Jane!