"We must achieve the character and acquire the skills to live much poorer than we do. We must waste less. We must do more for ourselves and for each other. It is either that or continue merely to think and talk about changes that we are inviting catastrophe to make. The great obstacle is simply this: the conviction that we cannot change because we are dependant on what is wrong. But that is the addict's excuse, and we know that it will not do."
—Wendell Berry

Monday, 8 October 2012

New calf

Been a busy few days. We are still cleaning up in the orchard. Yesterday we felled the last large tree to go. I felt bad about it as it was a beautiful Sovereignwood and they are a favourite of mine. Nevertheless it was already too large and would have continued to grow until it completely dominated the entire orchard above and below ground so it had to come down. I reckon it already weighed around ten tonnes so it was a ticklish operation to fell it without doing too much damage. I had the child bride on the tractor with a tow line pulling it in the right direction as I carefully cut the base through with the chainsaw. We had cleared a section of fence where it was to come down, which it managed to miss by a couple of metres. Instead it landed on a section of the vegetable garden fence which had already been hit twice by trees in the last couple of cyclones, so I guess that fence is probably used to it by now. Still, we should be well set for firewood next winter.

In other news Anna, our Jersey cow, dropped a fine bobby calf this afternoon. He looks strong, healthy and was suckling well when I went to check on them at dusk. I have just brought Mum and calf down from the top paddock and penned them in the cow race to keep them near this evening. Anna tends to suffer from milk fever with each calf. A condition brought on where the new mothers body draws down too much calcium to supply milk and this in turn can paralyse and kill the cow if left untreated. A drip of calcium in solution, which we have, quickly gets the cow on her feet again. We have been trying to head off the fever this time with careful supplementary feeding during the pregnancy. We should know by tomorrow morning if it has worked.

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