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Trailer, lost calf and fallen willow...

Emma Heseltine: I’ve got a trailer to clean out. Funnily enough I really don’t mind this job despite the fact that I inevitably get some form of poo in my hair, all over my clothes and face. I get to use the pressure washer which is a little joy of mine. Muck be gone! You can not withstand the power of the pressure washer, nothing can. Its so much more satisfying than scrubbing the trailer with a brush. I know it wont be shiny for long, but boy is it shiny when I’m done.

02 June 2013 | 0 Comments | Recommended by 1

If it was easy, everyone would be doing it!

Margaret Finlay: The Rainton dairy project has hit its first major hurdle. The calves from the autumn calvers have demonstrated that although 10 to 15 litres of milk a day is more than enough for them - and up to 10 litres a day more than they would get in some conventional rearing systems - they will drink as much as the cow can produce. Based on the milk production records for the individual cows from last year, this can be up to thirty litres a day in some cases!!

08 April 2013 | 11 Comments | Recommended by 4

More calves, a bonfire and lambs...

Emma Heseltine: The calves are coming thick and strong, Cypress has a little bull calf which is named Lincoln. He is born on an extremely snowy day (obviously, best time to have babies) so we bring them up to the paddock near the house and put them in the shed for 24 hours, it’ll be much better than being out in the freezing cold blizzard that proceeds to lash down all day.

17 March 2013 | 1 Comments | Recommended by 1

New calf, bringing the ewes home and feeding the pigs...

Emma Heseltine: This week Ellis decides to join Croft and has her calf on Tuesday morning. It’s another bull calf and even more strapping than Lawrence! They are moved up to the field next to the orchard and my newly ensconced pigs. Ellis apparently does not like pigs and has taken a particular dislike to mine, huffing and mooing at them. I’m not sure what they have done to offend her as they are being remarkably good considering what pigs can be like.

10 March 2013 | 1 Comments | Recommended by 6

Laurence and some little ginger pigs...

Emma Heseltine: This week there are several calves due but I’m sure, as per usual, they will not be when we expect them. Ellis and Croft are both due and look about ready, just waiting to see who is first. On Tuesday afternoon Croft wins the race and produces a strapping bull calf, Laurence. She is not keen to be moved up toward the house but we want her in the top paddock to keep an eye on them both. Eventually with some coaxing from Susan and some beeping from me (I’ve retired to the quad bike as she has taken a particular dislike to me today) we get them up to the paddock. A bit of peace, some extra feed and a watchful eye is in order. Come along now Ellis, join the party!

03 March 2013 | 0 Comments | Recommended by 0

The white stuff...

Margaret Finlay: It’s hard to believe that the first calf born in to our new system is now nearly three and a half months old! Normally dairy calves would find themselves taken away from their mothers within 48 hours of birth, confined to a small pen for the first couple of weeks of life, and then mixed with at least five or six other calves of the same age in larger pens. But the 36 calves born here over the past few months are still enjoying having milk on demand as they grow up side-by-side with their mothers.

26 February 2013 | 3 Comments | Recommended by 12

More thistles, shearing and calves...

Emma Heseltine: The thistle cutter is fixed so it’s down to Tarraby with me to get the thistles under control. The cattle are a little bemused at what I’m doing and follow me about a bit mooing and testing out the mown and non-mown sides. Hayley in particular is not impressed, she keeps yelling at me.

20 June 2012 | 4 Comments | Recommended by 6

Making Bonfires, Magnus and Crushing wheat...

Emma Heseltine: Today we took the heifers in chestnut field; the ones who decided to jump the fence and visit some neighbouring black and whites, back to the main part of the farm. I was a little wary after the previous incident so stood by the fence (repaired by my own fair hand) that proved no barrier to them last time.

18 December 2011 | 0 Comments | Recommended by 3

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