Monday, 23 November 2015
Mulga Bill is in Demand
Blossom is thriving and is now three weeks old.
The feed bin containing the minerals for the cows is wired onto a post inside their shelter shed to keep it dry.
Himalayan Pink Salt for the natural salts and minerals, Dolomite powder for calcium and magnesium and a commercially made mineral block without urea. Most blocks contain urea but we don't use any of that kind of artificial stuff on our organic property so we have to really hunt for a block that doesn't contain urea.
Mulga Bill is in demand, thanks to a Gumtree advert, and will be visiting another property next month to spend six weeks with a mob of heifers. The advert has been so successful that he is now booked up solid until June 2016 with a short spell back here to mate Lavendar in March.
Having our own bull has taken away the pressure of finding a person to AI our cows at the correct time when we want them to become pregnant. However, there are times when we don't want our cows or heifers to be impregnated by the bull so this is when it is time for him to go elsewhere.
Read my previous blog on Artificial Insemination here
He loads easily onto the trailer with a little bribing, and is always happy getting off at his destination, ready for "work".
Last week he got a barley grass prickle in his eye. We moved him into the yards and into the crush where Brian searched and found the offending grass seed lodged at the back of his eye. With tweezers and a deft hand, he removed the pesky prickle and squirted the contents of a Cod Liver Oil capsule into the eye. We could have put honey in the eye instead, which is a good remedy for eye irritations, but the bottle of Cod Liver Oil capsules were close to hand and we had no time to spare once we had him in the crush.
It was another one of those situations where were mighty pleased to have made the effort to build a strong yarding system with a crush.
If I could give one piece of advice to anyone planning on adding cattle to their property, it would be to make sure you have good yards with a crush for those times of health management. If we had not removed the prickle from his eye, nor had any means of confining him for treatment, he would have suffered many weeks of pain and discomfort and possibly have gone blind.
We use Vitamin A in the form of Cod Liver Oil capsules as a preventative measure with any irritations that may cause Pink Eye, which is more prevalent in animals that are deficient in Vitamin A and in dry dusty conditions. Generally, conventional farmed properties using artificial fertilizers that lock up the minerals in the soil will have stock that are more susceptible to Pinkeye. Here on our bio-dynamic and organically managed pastures we are not seeing any Pinkeye or eye irritation apart from those cases caused from grass seeds, which are not really Pinkeye anyway, but seem to be lumped into the same category.
In our early days here we were taking the advice of a conventional farmer and lambing in February. Our lambs were getting Pink Eye from the dry dusty conditions. We soon realised that there is nothing logical about lambing in the late stages of Summer when feed is scarce and the paddocks were reduced to dust. Our conventional farmer friend is still lambing in February, still getting Pinkeye in his lambs, and still wondering why.
We moved to lambing in May, when the paddocks are green, and are experiencing no pinkeye at all in our healthy fat lambs with the ewes in good condition.
Our books written by Pat Coleby are invaluable to us and I can highly recommend either "Natural Farming" or "Natural Cattle Care" for gaining a wealth of information.
Thanks for visiting the blog. Take a minute to leave a comment or ask any questions if I haven't explained something clearly.
Our farming life has become so ordinary and normal to us and the remedies we use are just the normal way we do things. I forget that I should be explaining things very carefully and not take it for granted that folks already know this stuff.