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March Farm news

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Calves, calves, calves everywhere! There are many advantages to having a good year of weather on the farm (and I preface these comments with another recognition that we seem to be the only place in Australia not affected by drought, fire or floods and are fully aware of how lucky we have been this year). One of the important jobs on the farm is monitoring the condition of the cows and ensuring that they are not losing too much condition or getting too fat. Both ends of the spectrum can lead to issues with fertility and general health (including ease of calving) but this year I think (not wanting to jinx myself) we have nailed it. Very few cows didn’t get in calf this year and we have had a crazy number of twins born. Of the first 25 births this season, 8 sets of twins were born. Two sets were unfortunately born dead but we were able to foster other calves onto the mothers. One set of twins were coming out the wrong way (breach) and I had a group of students with me on the farm activities. We chased the cow in to the cattle yards, not knowing that she had twins, and I had the students help me pull out the first calf alive. As always, they were completely blown away by the experience and we checked to make sure there wasn’t another calf in the cow. It was breach as well and we pulled out the second, quite large calf. I think the students assumed it was like a magic trick and that they would keep coming because they wanted me to pull out a third calf. No such luck but certainly a very memorable day for those kids. May the cool February weather continue and our Autumn season be as good as the previous Winter, Spring and Summer!



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