We went yesterday to buy the answer to all our cows’ prayers. Our new Limousin bull. Impressively it was through a reader of this paper that we found him. He contacted us and initially suggested one of his Aberdeen Angus bulls, but by then John had decided on the way he wanted to go; artificial insemination with Aberdeen Angus semen for the heifers, a Limmy bull for natures way with the main herd.
Generously he then passed on the name of a friend , who bred Limousins and it was one of his bulls that John selected.
Returning home after the initial visit, John commented on what a good handling system the farmer had in place. Apparently he installed it after a knee replacement made him rethink his strategies for the safe movement of bulls around the farmyard. At home, bringing in the AI man had alerted us to the fact that the system we had of using big bales to move cattle around, was neither safe nor efficient. There had been one or two torrid moments with some lively heifers, and as John does not yet fancy a knee, leg, arm or body replacement, we knew we had to do something to make the job safer.
As if on cue, a day later, a lorry drove into the yard with several systems of gates, cattle pen sections, crushes and vet boxes on board to sell. Normally I send them off. That day I told him to return later when John was back from checking on the ewes.
Now we have a proper system of cattle pen sections in the collecting area that fit onto the cattle crush and can be repositioned to suit our needs. And at 5ft, our cattle would have to be related to the cow that jumped over the moon to clear them. Additionally, unlike the big bales, there is no chance of these sections being knocked over by a stroppy cow.
So when we brought Mr Big home we had a very neat system in place to guide him into his new yard. Until he settles in we shall not be introducing him to his harem although I have noticed this morning that he has his eye glued to a peep hole in his gate where he can see the cows in the main fold yard next door. And interestingly, a cow on the other side peering back. Quite a pair of star crossed lovers.
Coincidentally a few of the cows are bulling, but with so may young calves in the fold yard, all that lust and racing around when the action starts, can put the youngest in danger of being literally trampled underfoot. So for now, Mr Limmy can just put up with the tranquil life and get used to the sights and sounds of our farm. I am sure when the fun does begin and he is being pursued and harangued by all those willing ladies, he will look back to this time and long for a bit of peace and quiet.
Mrs Downs Diary