Welcome to Scorrybreck Farm’s first newsletter! It’s currently Autumn and the weather has cooled significantly, bringing with it some well needed rainfall. The Anzac Day weekend was particularly chilly with an unseasonable low of just a few degrees. We have been waking up to fogs, heavy dews and much greener surrounds.
The cattle are enjoying fresh new growth in the paddocks and our steers look like they are putting on a little more condition. It has been quiet for the boys after we separated them from the girls but they seem quite content to sit in the shade, eat the grass and butt heads.
The girls are also growing well. We saw our first calf born on 15th April to Hamish and Clementina; a little red bull calf. He is a beautiful beast and we will be growing him out as a bull. We have decided to name him Ciad-ghin, meaning firstborn as he is the first calf we have bred from the Scorrybreck Fold. Sadly we had one calf who did not make it. Bonnie struggled with a posterior breech which prevented the calf from exiting the womb as one of the back legs became stuck. Veterinary assistance was required to remove the calf and treat Bonnie for a torn artery and tear inside her. She had a mild infection for a few days but after a strong dose of medication is doing just fine. In fact she has been very stoic throughout the ordeal and did not become distressed. Her prognosis is good and we shall see how she fares next time we join the cattle.
We have been eagerly anticipating a calf from Aileen. This will be our second calf of the Scorrybreck Fold and Blackadder’s first calf. Despite how big she looks it seems this one will be introduced to the world in May.
In other news James and I have been hard at work clearing areas of weeds from the dam area and planting trees. Here we are planning a native species habitat that will hopefully attract birds, bees, frogs and small native marsupials back into the area. Now that the summer fire ban has been lifted, we are finding that the most effective way to remove weeds is by burning off small patches of land and rotivating the soil to break up the roots.
So far we have planted around 350 saplings which include varieties of tea tree, red gum, snow gum, paperbark, sheoaks and wattles.
Some European trees have also been planted along the center line of the property. These will provide good coverage of shade for cattle throughout the day whilst not running the risk of dropping branches as red gums have a tendency to do.
Things we are looking ahead for in May:
– rounding up cattle for drenching
– further calving, vaccinations and registrations of calves
– planting more native plants