Well it has been an exciting day on the farm and at home today. We started with a lazy, Sunday morning lie in and a big cooked breakfast (eggs, bacon, sausages, tomatoes, mushrooms, toast and a pot of fresh coffee) before heading out to the farm.
There we gathered up the cattle and ran them through the yards, checking as we went and doing some more de-dagging. Our highlands are currently shedding their winter coats and through itching seem to knot and dreadlock their hair. There is literally hair everywhere on the farm and they will scratch against anything they can!
For fear of them getting fly strike James and I prefer to remove these knots as we don’t yet have scratching posts in the paddocks. Most of the time we can comb or pull out the dags, but for the few stubborn ones we use a simple set of sheep shears to trim.
We also took the opportunity to tag our newest calf – a heifer born to Kayla and Hamish of Arrandoon on Wednesday. Today she weighed in at 27 kg and looks to be doing well. We don’t have a name picked out just yet but will let you know what it is when we do!
Keeping on the theme of hair, James and I then went home to spend some time with Mabelline. In a sudden burst of madness we have entered her into our local show in Sale, which will be held next weekend. James and I have never shown cattle before so it will be interesting to see how we go.
We have spent a lot of time over the last few weeks getting her ready and used to wearing a halter and being led. We purchased a lovely Australian made brown leather halter from the cattle shop whilst we were at the Melbourne Show this year. Mabelline looks lovely in it.
Today we gave her a wash.
She has come up beautifully and is now clean, fluffy, free of dags and smells good! We still have a bit to do before the big day on Saturday – but we are both looking forward to it. We are also seeking a dryer to use. Today I had to make do with a small Vidal Sassoon hair dryer on an extension lead and the cool setting.. not the most practical but it’s what we had to hand and there were no complaints from the calf.
Afterwards we took her for a short lead up the driveway and down the road. There were a few peeps and odd looks from the neighbours as they drove past, which amused us. I also had my first go at leading her and she was very good and didn’t struggle. I too am feeling much more confident working with her.
Next job will be cleaning and trimming her hooves!