Saturday, 28 June 2014

Some New Bovine Lasses Arrive At Our Smallholding.

Guess what?  The bullocks and heifers passed their annual TB test.  This means that we can sell some of them.  Pay some bills and hopefully have a few days break from ye oldie smallholding.  So to make matters more complicated.  We stopped at a Dairy farm the other day and decided to buy six new dairy heifers, like you do. 

Regular readers will know that beef prices are very depressing at the moment  ("doom, gloom and doom again") and the Irish milk quotas end in 2015.  This means that no longer  milk herd owners have to keep to a milk quota.  They can keep lots more milkers and produce lots more milk.  So we thought we would 'diversify' and have a go at rearing some milk replacement heifers.  Here's a few pictures of the new girls arriving this morning and in their new paddock in the recently harvested silage field. 

"Let us out.  We want some grass."

Three of the calves having a walk round the recently cut silage field.  We made the green calf hutch out of an old heating oil tank.  



Already they are learning to pick at the grass.  We will give them powdered milk replacer for a couple of weeks and calf nuts.

8 comments:

  1. They look happy enough with their nice ear ornaments, hope they turn out well.

    Despite the depressed beef-on-the-hoof prices, I don't see any sign of it getting ceaper on the butchers counter.

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  2. You have some great looking girls there with good straight backs, lets hope that you get a good return on the young dears when they are sold on.

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  3. One day I will own a cow
    One day.......

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  4. Thanks Cumbrian. I was reading on the Internet the other day that factories in England have been saying they don't want black cattle and there are even opening up the sales to and from North America this Autumn. The calves had their first pick of grass today. You would have thought they had always been on it. We are up to 17 cattle now. Best sell some me thinks. I agree with you the meat in the shops doesn't get any cheaper even though the cattle mart prices keep falling. Thanks!

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  5. Hi Heron. You never know what return you will you get when your farming. It's great to see new life on the farm. One calf is being named: Wellingtons, because she's got four white legs. Thanks!

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  6. Hi John. Why don't you ask one of your farmer friends if they will rent or sell you an acre or two? I saw a smallholding (house and a acre) in Kerry advertised on the Internet for 37000 Euro the other week. There's always property advertised on Permaculture magazine classifieds for incredible prices on the Internet. Saw a lake and house and 4 acres in France for 55000 Euro. Not that I am suggesting you leave your wonderful village in Wales. Thanks!

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  7. We only have two cows, and I think that's enough, although if we have more land then Lester would increase our little herd. Not sure what we would do with all that milk though! Hope your new girls settle in well.

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  8. Hi Vera. Two cows must eat a lot of grass and hay? We buy cattle at the calf or weanling stage and keep them until they are about two years old and they are fully grown. Then we take one to the butcher for ourselves and sell the others to the butcher, farmers or sell them at the cattle mart. I have often thought of keeping cows but I don't fancy calving them. The new girls seem very content and are happy picking away at the grass, drinking their milk replacer and eating their calf pencils. Thanks!

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