The Mini Herd!

No, they aren’t all pocket size (although sometimes I wish they were when buying feed!) But there is only a few of them so therefore they are my ‘Mini Herd’.

So as some of you may already know from my ‘about me’ section, for a large chunk of my childhood, mum and I have raised dairy x beef poddy calves from local dairy farmers, raising them up to sell on for a bit of extra pocket money or bill paying.

One of my first Dairy-Beef Heifers, Sooky.

One of my first Dairy-Beef Heifers, Sooky.

Over the last couple of years I have been fortunate enough to be able to purchase some beef calves from a local Gelbvieh and Red Angus stud. Each calving season the I get twin (usually one of the twins is weaned off if the cow is struggling) and orphaned calves.

This season Mum and I have been lucky enough to rear two Gelbvieh bull calves, Johnny and Kelly. And yes it can be a little tricky not to get attached to them when you nurse them though their calf-hood!

Kelly, being a milk monster!

Kelly, being a milk monster!

Kelly curious about the heifers in the paddock

Kelly curious about the heifers in the paddock

Johnny out in the sunshine

Johnny out in the sunshine

Kelly, the larger of the pair is the toughest little bloke I’ve reared so far! If he finishes one of his twice daily feeds of milk before Johnny he will push and head butt him until he gets that teat! Fortunate for Johnny, we usually come to the rescue and separate his boofy friend into another pen. Which may I say, is not easy! yet to come out of that situation without some baby calf drool on my jeans!

Now, the rest of the gang! This is Denzel and Rusty, these two boys are both Spring 2012 calves. Denzel is a Angus x Gelbvieh and Rusty is a Gelbvieh.

Rusty the Calf

Rusty the Calf

Denzel with a gob-full of lucerne hay

Denzel with a gob-full of lucerne hay

Dora..the explorer, named for her curiosity of everything around her as a calf, is a Red Angus x Gelbvieh Spring calf from 2011. Every morning at hay time she comes charging down the paddock and I warn you it is not the most elegant sight you ever did see!

Dora at the start of summer

Dora at the start of summer

Hef (yes, it is so very original!) is a Gelbvieh heifer who has been joined to a Murray Grey bull and is due to calf in the next week or two (Yes, there will be pictures! Many pictures!)

Hef starting to 'bag up' in the udder

Hef starting to ‘bag up’ in the udder

And last but not least! Boy, also a Gelbvieh (like I said, original) is the same age as Hef and they have been buddies from when I got them, lately Boy has been babysitting the Autumn drop calves in the neighbour’s paddock.

Boy being a great big lump!

Boy being a great big lump of steer!

Unfortunately, come spring it will be his time to go to market. It may be sad but it is just another part of farming, got to feed the big wide world somehow!.

Emma.

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