Farm update - October 2012

Oct 01 2012 0 Comments Tags: update

Wow, what a month!  As predicted, the bounty of spring has arrived!  We are getting 8-10 eggs a day and now with Bella milking again, at least 4L of milk a day, but there's not much getting to the kitchen, with too many calves to look after at the moment.

Benny the Braford was a very unhealthy looking calf that we brought home from Cheslyn Rise. We bought home another one (a heifer) a couple of weeks later, and as she looked even worse, we called the vet.  It turned out that they were both suffering from paralysis tick poisoning, which gradually paralyses the animal, from the legs upwards until they can't swallow and then can't breath.  It looks like we got to Benny in time, he is still very weak and seems to be unable to get to his feet without a boost from one of us, but once he's up, he's ok and very keen on lucerne.  After two weeks we finally got him to take some milk, I wonder now if the problem was the milk powder just tasted wrong, and then when he got some of Bella's milk, now he loves it and finishes his two litres twice a day.  The heifer calf only survived a few days after the vet came, she was drinking ok one day and dead the next, it seems to be very unpredictable.  I'll write a post in more detail when I know more about how Benny goes, and I hope I can offer some advice on managing sick calves.
Benny the Braford
Romeo the freisian-cross calf is a younger tame calf that we managed to foster onto Bella after she lost her own calf shortly after or during birth (see more here).  They took a week to get used to each other, and we had to be patient and let Bella decide to foster him.  He is very tame and enthusiastic drinker, we were so very pleased when Bella let him drink from her, so that we don't have to milk twice a day!  She is now very protective and won't let us near him, I guess she doesn't want to lose another calf.



All the other cattle are good!  We had our neighbour's massive red bull in our yard a few weeks ago after tine Donald the Dexter challenged him to a fight and he broke through the fence, and it was an interesting afternoon trying to encourage him to go back home!

the first cheese of the season - a Romano
We don't have as many chickens, even after I did that stocktake last week, we decided to process some of the roosters as they were big enough and starting to fight each other and generally cause trouble.  We did 6 in one day and enjoyed a very tasty roast chicken for dinner as a reward!  The other day we got 12 eggs from the 19 hens, 4 from the 6 pullets, so they are doing very well this year.

In the garden, I've been trying to follow moon planting, so I only just got some seeds into seed raising pots, but the winter garden is still proving plenty of kale, broad beans, peas and carrots, so I don't want my spring seedlings to be ready too early, or I'll have some tough decisions about what to pull out (I need a bigger garden!!).  I've also harvested a couple of super-sweet tiny strawberries, a nice treat from the garden :)


peas are doing well, I have plenty this year, might help that
I moved them away from the onions....

lavender is looking good and covered in bees

the remains of lettuce, beets, swedes and turnips,
 soon to be the tomato garden

waiting for bok choi and broccoli seeds to set and eat all the cabbages,
and then will move in the summer root veges

Mizuna and tat soi seeds, will soon be lettuce

the herbs growing back after winter - mints, thyme, oregano and taragon

broad beans and shallots to be replaced by corn and squash

the crazy bean plant lives on.... potato bag in the background

the pullets and young rooster helping me with the scraps :)
Has anyone else noticed a theme in our animal colour scheme?  You can tell we're Queenslanders with all these maroon and white animals!  And we don't even have time to follow sport!






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