Thursday 10 July 2014

Worming Time On The Smallholding And A Ratter With Hay Fever.

We have been having trouble with worms (not the the humans) on the smallholding the last couple of weeks.  First of all the Fido the Jack Russell (West Cork ratting contractor) started coughing like a duck.  So we took her to the v.e.t (Remember the Billy Connolly song?) and he examined Fido and told us that we took Fido to see him the very same time last year.  He diagnosed that Fido had (wait for it) HAY FEVER!  Well knock me down with a feather..
Yes dear readers.  Dogs can get hay fever.  The vet blamed it on all the hay and silage making going on around us.

Then the vet also asked us if we had foxes on our little farm.  We told him that we do get them on the land and we are always finding their presents (number two's) on the pasture.  I think foxes are incredibly beautiful and I love watching the young cubs playing every spring on ours and our neighbours land.  I once saw a fox carrying a big RAT (with a long tail) in its mouth.  So they are not completely evil and if they kill rats I like them. Not sure about them eating earth worms though.

Any road.  The veterinary (I sound like I am in a James Herriot book) told us that foxes carry lung worm and other internal parasites and they contaminate the pasture and the cattle pick up the worms.  So he gave Fido some worming medicine just in case she had picked up any on her travels around the smallholding.

Yesterday I noticed that some of our new calves had the 'scutters'.  That's an Irish time for diarrhea or a 'flock of starlings' if you have ever had a pint of ten of dodgy beer and (too much information) gone to bathroom ("jacks") first thing in the morning.  Myself and the one who must be obeyed decided that the calves had picked up worms either from their mothers or from the pasture they have been grazing on.

Oh what fun we had catching six young heifer calves in the back of the cow box in the field and opening their mouths and squirting the wormer down their throats.  One calf decided to bite my fingers.  I thought she was going to eat them.  Somehow I managed to retrieve my fingers and my rubber glove (not Marigolds) from the annals of the bovines mouth.  You could just imagine the newspaper headlines couldn't you:

"Calf  Bites Off Smallholders Fingers."

Any road again.  I lived to tell the tale and pleased to say it looks like the wormer worked.  How do you worm your animals?  Does any one ever used garlic or some other herbal remedy?


  1. First time I've heard of a dog getting hay fever as well, q-u-a-r-a-n-t-i-n-e stars today, because he bit the v-e-t then he ran away.........

    Yes, the skitters as we call them, or sometimes the crazy shits, seen at their best when accompanied by a cough, seems to send it for miles.

    A whole lot of entertainment I bet catching and dosing 6 semi-wild young ladies who don't really want a dose of medicine and don't realise it's for their own good, sounds like as much fun as putting the ring in a bulls nose. But at least you got all your fingers back still attached.

    Weather holding well here, blue skies, sunshine and temperatures low 20s. Lambs getting scarce in the fields, a lot going through the mart and prices dropping a bit.

  2. Well actually.... now you come to mention having the scutters! That was on my last visit to the UK (several years ago) after having eaten British eggs and that to me is a good enough reason not to ever return.

  3. Hi Cumbrian. We have lots of fun (not if you are on the receiving end) with our farm animals. We have often been kicked, bitten, cracked ribs and covered in the proverbial.

    Been reading: The Complete Herbal Handbook For Farm And Stable. The author says that sheep farmers in the Pennines and Ireland often use wild garlic mixed with bran and molasses, mixed into balls and used for a worm preventative.

    Showery today. Grass seems to be slowing down and nights are drawing in fast. Thanks!

  4. Hi Heron. Thanks for telling us your eggs tale. I once got food poisoning in Norfolk. I needed the toilet at two in the morning. Sat on toilet with the scutters and being violently sick. Washed my face in freezing cold water and proceeded to get lost in the pitch black darkness. Took me an hour and half to find our tent. Happy days.

  5. I give our dogs diatamacious earth regularly, which sorts out worm troubles. As for everyone else, at the moment they are wormed with vet stuff a couple of times a year, but when we get round to finishing the fencing off in the fields, then we shall rotate the sheep, goats, and cows over the pasture, which should help with worm control. The pigs are never wormed, and neither do the poultry, although we are aware that we should!

  6. Hi Vera. We worm the cattle 2 or 3 times a year. The wet Irish pasture contains a lot of fluke and lungworms. Diatamacious earth sounds great. Never heard of it before you told us about it. Thanks!

  7. My parson terrier gets hay fever, sometimes she sneezes for about 3 minutes at one go, but luckily she only has it mildly.

  8. Hi Bedford Gypsy. I laughed when I heard that our terrier had hay fever. But like you say, it's true dogs can suffer from it. We use to have a border collie sheep/sheep dog that sniffed flowers and sneezed. Thanks!

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