Saturday, 11 July 2015

Six New Pals For The Smallholding.

We bought 6 new bull calves yesterday from two different farms.  Four British Frisian and two Whitehead (Hereford) bull calves.  We sold our heifers the other week.  I wanted to buy more female calves but  prices have gone crazy.  You are talking a kings ransom at the moment.  I have heard of day old calves being sold for 500 Euros each.  Ouch!  

I honestly thought we were going to be priced out and even considered getting sheep  instead.  Luckily number one son rang round and two local farmers found us these bull calves.  


 The new livestock settling in after a good drink.  They love the hay, calf crunch and artificial milk replacer.  Forty six Euros for a bag of milk replacer!  
 Mum the six teat plastic cow.  See the calf crunch in the trough.  A dairy farmer told us to fill the trough and they will eat the crunch instead of sucking each other for milk.  I think it will attract rats.   Domino our smallholding cat and Fido our terrier are always around to scare any vermin away or even catch them.

It's good to see new life on the farm.  Every now and again I say we will pack  in farming and sell up.  But we never do and we are here for another year.  I couldn't live somewhere without a few calves or some pigs and a veg plot.  I could live somewhere warmer though like fantastic Portugal.  Or even Cardiff.  

Well done England on a fantastic first test ashes victory over the Aussies.  I wish we lived near a cricket club.  What could be better than supping a few pints of real ale and watching some cricket?  

At least we have some new bovine pals to feed milk twice a day.  Could you live somewhere without livestock or a veg plot?

16 comments:

  1. Welcome to your new stock, hope they settle in soon

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    1. Thanks BG. They seem content and it's actually sunny today. Thanks!

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  2. The calves look lovely and shiny and healthy. I am envious. They are fabulous. Good luck with them.

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    1. Hi Rachel. You will have to get a few calves and bucket feed them. Thanks! I am having withdrawal symptoms from the football. Not long before the Premiership starts again. Thanks!

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  3. Hello Dave, long time no see, lovely new stock !!
    Twiggy

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    1. Hi Twiggy. Hope you are well. They are lovely new stock. Thanks for your comment.

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  4. Now just how cute are they! I know cute won't really be right when they get bigger :O), but for now they are cuteness. :O)

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    1. They are very cute Texan. The smallest one kicked me this morning. They are real characters and full of life. Thanks!

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  5. I couldn't think of doing anything else either, Dave, and think I would get bored without all the ups and down of smallholding life! Glad your son managed to find you some calves, and hope they settle in OK.

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    1. Hi Vera. I always like reading about other smallholdings like yours in Southern France. You bond with your animals don't you. They seem to be settling in well apart from one bawling calf who wants his mum. Thanks!

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  6. They look good animals. i can't believe you were considering sheep again after all you've said (and all of it true! ). Looks like you've got a good setup there as well.

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    1. Thanks Kev. You made me think of sheep. Our fences aren't sheep stock proof but we have to have some livestock on the land. We put big rubber mats over the concrete slats to stop the calves getting their feet stuck down them. I am back to mucking out like we use to do when we had a loose house. I don't mind though and it's more muck for the veg plot next year.

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  7. Looking good Dave, I can't believe the price of calves, what sort of price do you get for them later? It's hard to believe at 500E you can make any money.

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    1. Hi Kirsty. Every year it changes. Have a look on Done Deal for Beef and Dairy cattle prices. I don't think many smallholders make a profit if they are really truthful. Not when they write down the cost of feeding them, vet bills, insurance, electricity, diesel, tractor repairs etc. I think it helps if you get a fair and decent single farm payment. We don't. I continue because I farm for sentiment. My dad's family have been here since 1830 as far as we know and we don't want to be the one's who gave up. We made just over 300 Euros each than we paid for our heifers last year. I shopped round this year and paid a lot less for bull calves. Thanks!

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  8. I hope they settle in soon Dave. Costa del Cardiff?? ;-)

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    1. Thanks Deb. Cardiff is a lot more Costa Del than West Cork at the moment. Stacks of grass though and the onions and potatoes are getting bigger because of it. Thanks!

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