Weather Update and New Beginnings!

I really want to thank all those who read my last two weather reports – they can be found here and here – and tell you how much I appreciate your concern. It really does make a difference to know people care.

Well, here’s is the final update.

It looks like, at this stage, the live export trade is not effected by the sanctions. Though we know the export market from here won’t last for various other reasons and have prepared ourselves for this. But what the ongoing effects will be for the dairy industry are yet to be seen. Watch this space……

My last post was a cryptic one, I know!

I didn’t want to say too much in case it all fell through – again!

At the beginning of August, we were offered as many of 120 cows as we wanted for free. We took 85 of them. Before it rained. When feed was short.

Madness, right?

Maybe! It brings our milking herd to just over 200 cows.

So about now you’re probably going “Great! What? Free!?!? How does that happen??”

Some of you may remember about a year ago we were going to start breeding Wagyu X calves for the Japanese export market using cows we didn’t need to pay for. Except the person we had to deal with at the time was behaving in a very shady manner. If you don’t know, its here.

Well, its now being run by a far more competent person. They offered us the cows, we took them!

The deal is, they supply us 85 cows, we supply them 85 Wagyu X calves weighing 110kg’s.

Wagyu calves are notoriously hard to keep alive. I have had a few (OK, a lot of!) people be very negative about the whole thing.

You know they were born to die?

Have you ever reared a Wagyu before?

But we have done our homework, don’t worry!!!

And we have surrounded ourselves with positive people willing to help.

I realised a long time ago that if you listen with an open mind to those who know what you don’t, the information will flow.

And it has!

So, what brought this on?

Dean, hubby’s first born, decided he wanted to come back to the family farm. It’s something I’m not 100% sold on. I feel, at 19, he needs to be out exploring the world and how he fits into it. But, it is what it is!

And he – rightly so I guess – wants to be payed…
And to be able to pay him, we need to grow our herd.

To have him home, though, means another set of hands. We have another man who turns up most days and helps because we have taken some of his cows in.

So all the stars were aligning big time!

We had hands, ability and the offer to get big without too many overheads!

We didn’t have rain or feed though. It has rained since and we are hoping the grass grows quickly.

We anguished over this decision more than we have for any other decision. This is a huge commitment. Huge!

The cows arrived 2 weeks ago. So far, we’ve handled it!

Oh, 22 Wagyu X calves turned up with the cows! Ages vary from 6 weeks old right down to 2 newborns. So I was thrown right in the deep end!

So far, so good!!!

One of the reasons I started this blog was because there is no information readily available about rearing Wagyu calves in Australia. So I thought I would put the information out as I discovered it!

And I think this would be the perfect opportunity to show the negative Nancies that it can be done, you just need to follow the rules! In the mean time, I’ll use their negativity to fuel my fire.

Maybe time will show I am cocky and arrogant. Maybe we will be game changers in the industry! Who knows.

One thing I do know is this….

You won’t know if you don’t have a go!

So, I will endeavour to keep those of you that are interested up to date with the goings on with these calves!

And, as happens, lots of other great things have started to fall into place on other fronts as well! But that’s for another day…

Exciting times ahead for us!

By the way, I have deliberately not mentioned names or companies. I am still trying to get in contact with people to get permission and set boundaries.

 

LOL Moments – Bullet Dodging

I was worried a little by the end of milking tonight I wouldn’t have a post for tomorrow.

Good thing I took Miss 6 to help feed the calves!

I left her in charge of feeding my #bucketoflove calf Zoe.
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This is my #bucketoflove. Vitrate, Peptocyl and Neomycin. I’ll leave this for a future blog.
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Anyway, I let Miss 6 finish giving Zoe her bottle. She chatted away like she always does and I half listened like I tend to after a while.

She was talking about the calves, and how we need to look after them, and other things I missed!

Then she started asking about her birth…

Then it happened.

‘How do you get a baby?’

Me – “What do you mean Bubba?”

“You know! How do you get a baby in your tummy?”

Me – “Oh……uuuuuummmmmmmm……”

I knew the question would come eventually. I just wasn’t ready for it right there or then!

But while I stopped to think, Zoe finished her bottle and started bunting and slobbering all over Miss 6.

It distracted her for long enough for me to get the subject changed and her to forget!

I think it was a nervous one but I had a good laugh about it to myself!

Pretty sure I dodged a bullet there!

Daily Prompt – Now? Later!

We all procrastinate. Website, magazine, knitting project, TV show, something else — what’s your favorite procrastination destination?

My favorite ‘time waster’ is watching my calves.

No, I’m not super vain!

I’m talking about my surrogate children. Its something I’ve written about before.

I often get in trouble for standing at the gate and watching them playing.

After a feed they often feel frisky. They’ll play tag or they’ll follow each other around, tails in the air and a twinkle in their eyes, running as fast as they can!

They’make an obstacle courses.

Through the hole in the fence, around the big tree, back up the hill and jump over the grain trough! If I happen to be in the paddock, it’s a guarantee they’ll include me!

Anything that goes into the paddock is fair game. Especially if it makes a noise when walked over!

One day my human children kicked a soccer ball into their paddock. They didn’t kick it, but there was a lot of inspecting…

“Ooo what is that?”

“Eeek it MOVED!”

“You touch it?”

“No! YOU touch it”

“Aaaahhhhhh! IT MOOOOOVED!”

“RUN AWAY! RUN AWAY!”

I wish you could see what I see, hear what I hear.

They are beautiful to watch.

I do procrastinate a lot watching them.

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LOL Moments – Nothing To See Here!

I’m on a mission to show the lighter side of my life. Last week I wrote about Pleasures and where they comes from. This week I thought I’d share some laugh-out-loud moments.

I have an interesting ill health issue with one of my calves.

She refuses to suck the teat on the calf feeder. Or my fingers. This is very unusual. But she is getting better.

Cattle are social animals, so I like to put calves together in my calf shed if I can. I had another calf in with my little sort of sick calf who was healthy and could drink her milk very quick.

One morning, when they were about 5 days old, this healthy calf was being particularly pushy and I knew the other calf would be completely put off and wouldn’t even try to suck. So I put the healthy calf out the gate and into the big wide world before I fed her.

This is a trick I employ regularly. The calf normally explores a little, chases a dog, says hello to everything and does a few excited kicks and jumps. But they stay close because they haven’t been fed.

Not this calf..

She did chase the dogs. And she did get excited. But she didn’t stay close.

She ran, as fast as her legs could carry her, behind the calf shed, through a gate and into the next paddock.

If you’ve ever seen a newish calf run you’ll know it looks very uncoordinated!

This was our first big frost for the year.

The little calf, making the most of her freedom, galloped down the hill skipping and jumping and generally having a great time.

I was watching her antics while trying to get the other calf to drink so I knew where to go and get her to give her her feed.

I’m not sure exactly what happened, but on one of her down hill runs she fell down and slid for about five metres, spinning as she went.

My heart skipped a beat. I thought she’d be hurt for sure!

But calves are tough.

This is my lol moment…

She finally stopped sliding and just layed there for two seconds. Then she jumped straight up on her feet, looked back up the hill to where she started and shook her head.

She then, very carefully, walked back up the hill, through the gate and back around to the front of the calf shed.

I’m convinced, if she could, she would have been whistling!

By this time I was laughing so hard I was crying.

She was fine. She had her drink and bucked around her pen.

But she will forever be known here as our ‘Sk8r’ chic!