Cow Calving at Stour Cross Farm

August 25th, 2010

I couldn’t resist the opportunity to video one of our mature cows calving her second twin calf. The first one was born only minutes before but unfortunately I missed the delivery. The calf was up on its feet shortly afterwards and I was mistaken to think that the calf belonged to the white cow you see in the video as the calf is of similar markings but it was later made obvious that it was the first of the twins. These are our fourth set of twins this year and all of them are doing fine. 

Click on the video link below and watch the wonders of nature. The video is about 8 mins long.

The second twin calf being born

The second twin calf being born

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZLgeMcDoKNU

Twins Born

August 9th, 2010

Martin decided to bring a cow, who was close to calving, into an empty barn as he thought she was having problems. We left her for an hour and then intervened with the help of a calving aid. Two male calves were born, our third set of twins this year.

Calf # 1 Aug 8th 2010

Calf # 1 Aug 8th 2010

Calf # 2

Calf # 2 The mother immediately licks one calf at a time

The mother immediately licks one calf at a time

The mother immediately licks one calf at a time

Introducing the calves to the bottle

Introducing the calves to the bottle

An empty wine bottle always comes in handy!

An empty wine bottle always comes in handy!

The mother has been taken away to be milked and her milk is saved in a separate vessel. It is vital all calves drink their mothers first milk called colostrum which contains all its nutrients in a very concentrated low-volume form. This is where I come in!!!

It doesn’t take long before the calves are up on their feet and gurzling the milk. I find a empty wine bottle with a rubber calf teat on the end does the trick. Tomorrow they will be moved in another barn where some other calves are being hand reared.

 

 

 

 

 

The smallest of the twins born taking her afternoon milk.

The smallest of the twins born taking her afternoon milk.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

August 26th and the twins are growing. The photo above shows the smallest of the two taking her afternoon milk along with her brother and three other calves. She is still quite small but stands her ground when it comes to feeding time.

Barn is Gutted at Stour Cross Farm

July 14th, 2010
 
 
Right side of barn showing mini slew with pecker to break up concrete

Right side of barn showing mini slew with pecker to break up concrete

Left side of barn. Cubicles down left are intact
Left side of barn. Cubicles down left are intact

Our main wooden cow barn at Stour Cross Farm, which is nearly 30 years old, is now being revamped. The cubicle’s have been dismantled and the base that the cows lie on has gone.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Middle section of barn

Middle section of barn

The reason for this facelift is that Martin had bought a tractor that won’t fit down the aisle’s of the cubicles so major adjustments were needed. Four lines of cubicles had to be dismantled and moved over by a couple of feet. Concrete and chalk were pecked out and the wooden dividers kept to one side.

Once all lines have been removed the work will begin to make the bases again.

Duncliffe Chalet is finally finished!!

June 21st, 2010

At last – Duncliffe Chalet can now accept guests. Hooray. Talk about on tender hooks, I’ve never been so stressed in my life. Well here are some photos, not good ones, but at least you can see the inside which I hope will inspire you to make a booking.

Duncliffe Kitchen

Duncliffe Kitchen

Duncliffe Master Bedroom

Duncliffe Master Bedroom

Duncliffe Bathroom downstairs

Duncliffe Bathroom downstairs

Duncliffe Lounge

Duncliffe Lounge

Silaging

May 21st, 2010

A tense week whilst attentions are fixed on all weather forcasts. Needing just a few days of  warm sunshine the decision was made. Everything in farming hinges on the right weather conditions whether rain is needed to make the grass grow or sun to make the winter feed. No wonder farmers are always moaning about the weather.

 Our first cut of silage went really well, no stressy husband, punctual workforce and the sun shone. It was glorious.

Silaging

Silaging

Update on Duncliffe Chalet

May 9th, 2010

At last, the kitchen is finished. We had quite a few hiccups during the installation but I am really pleased with it. Hope you like the colour!! The tiles throughout the chalet have also been completed and they look great. So now I am just waiting for the plumber to finish a few things and the electrician to fit the heaters. lights and switches this coming week. The carpet fitter is booked in for Mon 17th and then afterwards a chance to add the remaining essentials like curtains, furniture etc in time for completion by beginning of June.  This week I am busy choosing paint colours for the rooms and applying the last coat before the carpet is laid.

Kitchen in Duncliffe Chalet

Kitchen in Duncliffe Chalet

All hands and Machinery put to work!!

April 29th, 2010

Last weekend was very busy. Taking advantage of this glorious weather before it changed to Bank Holiday rain Martin and my eldest son Matthew were busy ploughing and rotavating fields ready for the planting of Maize. This if you’re unfamiliar with the plant is winter feed for the cows. I’ll update you later in the year with it’s progress.

Matt Ploughing 25th Apr 10

Spring has Arrived

April 7th, 2010

Spring is finally here although the daffodils can be excused for their late arrival. Easter gave us a mixture of sunshine and chilly weather and Martin and I were patiently waiting for  the day when the cows would be peering over the gate. They smell Spring and the grass that has turned from a short browny colour to lush green. The fields are still wet in places but mostly dry enough for the herd. So today’s the day, at last, Spring is here. One special day for me in the year when I witness mass excitement and freedom. All 140 girls charge out of the yard onto soft ground  – what a sight. The jumping, galloping, snorting, bellowing and head butting make for a wonderful sight. I never tire of this annual sight.

A day worth the wait

A day worth the wait

Duncliffe Chalet

April 7th, 2010

Work is progressing although you wouldn’t think so looking at the photos. The kitchen has been delivered and partially fitted. Had problems with worktop. Designer didn’t tell me they only supplied 3m lengths of worktop. It meant having a small piece joined on the end which would have looked awful. So I’m waiting for some 4m lengths to be delivered so the carpenter can finish. Also the oven housing wasn’t sent so waiting for that. Some companies just haven’t got a clue.  Bathroom supplies have been delivered so I’m waiting for the plumber. Tiler is due in this Monday 12th although I hope all the other trademan will be finished with their work by then.

Quite a mess but there is light at the end!!
Quite a mess but there is light at the end!!

Kitchen Units

Update on Progress of Duncliffe Chalet

February 4th, 2010

All of the wood cladding has been fitted to the ceilings and walls and now we have the tedious job of varnishing it all. Trouble is, it’s difficult to see what’s been done!

4th Feb 10