A difficult birth, but all ends well

Yes, again another milk price cut, the third month in a row. Do we want to produce our own food in the UK or not?

No doubt the supermarkets will pocket a greater share.

It’s always about the weather on a farm! At last we are hopeful for some spring weather. But we are still very wet underfoot and the rain when it comes is heavy and cold.

The first swallow arrived on March 28, such a welcome sight.

The fields are a beautiful rich green, hedges bursting into life and the verges and banks full of flowers – how lucky are we to live in a land where the seasons are so different and as each season arrives it brings with it a set of its own delights.

Darren has all but finished lambing and the last of the cows in the spring block have calved.

But a shorthorn cow had difficulties with the calf presenting backwards, with only a tail and large bottom trying to be born, both legs firmly tucked forward.

Tom and Alan can deal with most complications, but this was eluding them, so the vet was called.

The calf was so comfortable in the wrong position that a caesarean was the only option, a last resort as more often than not the calf doesn’t make it and the cow has a major op to get over.

The vet prepared the site by shaving off the hair and cleaning the area ready to make the incision, when Mabel, our grand-daughter, who was watching proceedings, noticed the calf making its way through the normal channel!

The calf was born, a bonny shorthorn heifer, and mum was spared the operation and us the bill!

C-sections are not uncommon in cattle, but luckily we have only had a handful over the years.

Stavordale Firefox Amber, now being lovingly nurtured, will join the dairy herd when she is fully grown at about two years old.

It’s now mid-April and the dairy cows are still in winter quarters, with all that means, cleaning and bedding, and everyone, people and animals, is winter weary.

Thank goodness we have the zero grazing to help eke out the remaining silages.

We have, of course, had winters like this before, but we farmers are an optimistic bunch and always hope for an early spring and turn-out.

Easter at the shop and Kitchen were really busy, with sales of lamb up on last year, the turkeys were also popular as were all the meats – family and friends’ gatherings are alive and well if the size of the joints is anything to go by!

The kitchen is waiting for the gale season to pass, so the sale cover can be put back outside over the seated area.

We have started the ‘pop up’ evenings once more – having had a Steak Night last month, a Lebanese food themed night is planned for April 28, bookings now being taken.

Kimbers Farm Shop, The Kitchen at Kimbers, Somerset Trading Barn. Linley Farm Charlton Musgrove BA9 8HD Tel. 01963 33177.
Opening times Tuesday-Friday 8.30am-5pm Saturday 9.30-4pm.

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