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It’s a rollercoaster keeping cattle, like many aspects of life and any other business.


It’s a rollercoaster keeping cattle, like many aspects of life and any other business. Tonight we had our lead cow Phaedra start calving. After the excitement of a Christmas calf had passed with no real movement, the vet was called and after quite a lot of examination, a terse warning this night wouldn’t end with a live calf was given as legs were in the wrong places. We moved Phaedra from her pen to The yard outside to get more light as the vet prepared her for a c-section (shaved her side and injected some penicillin, antibiotics and some local anaesthesia) once Rachel the vet had made her expert incisions and entered the womb from the side, a small misshapen calf was pulled out. It was in bad shape, distorted limbs, twisted pelvis and no sex organs. Then another calf was pulled out very much alive, perfectly formed and well. Phaedra was stitched up and although, understandably a bit groggy seems to be doing fine with her new female calf in the foreground of the picture. The first calf near the mother was painlessly euthanised shortly after this picture was taken. Our first ever set of twins hadn’t gone well but the cow and calf that survived more than make up for it. Rollercoaster. Happy to have any name suggestions for the calf? We’ve had Ullswater Mary, already which seems a good choice in the circumstances... Happy Christmas!

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