Exploits of Dairying & Bravado

I must say, I’m impressed. 

Tony – who hates heights & suffers from chronic vertigo – managed to erect the Galebreaker at the southernmost end of the Dairy Complex this evening.  The whole thing stretches from floor to ceiling & is about 15ft high; which when perched precariously on a wobbly ladder whilst attempting to insert a long, heavy metal tube into its lofty moorings – isn’t exactly the easiest job in the world.  

But he did it. 

The final curtain was lowered after Tony thankfully bowed down from the ladder; & our caprine Milkforce now have the ultimate in fully-secure, weatherproof accommodation: warm in Winter, cool in Summer; with a state-of-the-art milking parlour; a clean, fresh ‘goat-proof’ (we’ll see) automated drinking water system; a warm, free-draining floor; & feed stations situated at optimum height for browsing goats.  And with free access to graze our organically-managed pasture or to munch brambles & a wide variety of deciduous bushes & trees at the edge of the woods in the ‘great outdoors’ – having a steeply-graduated field in which to play – these girls will be in ‘natural behaviour’ heaven…..doubtless, whilst we’re fretting as to where our next meal might come from, the amount we’ve had to invest to get the whole thing established & with Tony still not having received word as to when he starts his new airline job. 

Erm, ice cream, anyone….?

Tony flaunts his wares!

Tony flaunts his wares!

Although it hasn’t been sunny today it has at least been dry; & the goats have enjoyed another day & night on the pasture, only coming in for milking.  Tony & I made a brief excursion into the local town to assess whether the livestock bedding mats for sale in the local Farmers’ Co-op would be suitable for use in the Dairy Complex accommodation; unfortunately they aren’t heavy enough which is a shame as naturally we’d rather give our business to the local community if possible. 

Then it was time to pay the dreaded vets’ bill; & to try to ascertain the latest situation as regards receipt of the precious vials of BTV8 vaccine.  Still nothing definite; maybe, next week…..?  It seems to be an eternal case of ‘whenever’ for Welsh farmers; with the midge season hopefully over for another year, ere long. 

So whilst some may grumble that it’s already going to be a waste of money to vaccinate at all this year, at least we’ll have the comfort that our animals are protected, ready for next year’s clouds of midges, arriving on the hot, heady summer winds….hrrrmph.

About LittleFfarm Dairy

The LittleFfarm Dairy Team: Jo - Goat farmer & Gelatiere Artigianale, plus General Dogsbody; Tony - Airline Pilot & part-time Herd Manager, Product Taster, Accounts Secretary, Handyman etc!
This entry was posted in August 2008, Dairy, Diary, Farming, Goats, Life, Livestock, Smallholding, Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Exploits of Dairying & Bravado

  1. katie says:

    Sounds like it’s all coming together, Jo! I’m sure the goats will appreciate their palatial accommodation .As a matter of interest,is the flooring ‘above the ground’ rubberised slatted matting stuff? We saw some at ‘Sheep 08’ and it seemed a really useful system.

  2. LittleFfarm Dairy says:

    Hi Katie –

    yes, at last, we finally feel we’re (sort of) getting somewhere.

    No, the matting isn’t that ‘above-ground’ stuff; easier to manage though it may be I’m reliably informed it would cost us another several £thousand to dig out the recessed area necessary to accommodate the system – money we just don’t have, right now – plus I have reservations as to the warmth such a system offers: we’re not Romans, & cannot afford a hypocaust system with the requisite slaves – although I’m sure the goats would be delighted to see us fulfilling that particular role!

    Instead we’ll resort to using standard heavy-duty stock matting; with the advantage that our aggregate + slate-&-earth floor will allow for drainage whilst still providing a warm sleeping surface. This will be cleaned off every day or so & the bedding replaced with a simple layer of either straw or shavings; whatever is most readily available.

    Meanwhile thick beds of clean, fresh straw will be provided as ever, for the mums in the Kidding Shed on which to rear their precious newborns.

    In addition sleeping platforms interspersed with graduated ladders will give the girls a natural stage on which to assert their status therefore keeping a heathier, happier herd where everyone is comfortable with their place in life. I certainly know mine – at the bottom of those ladders!

  3. Wow! I’ve been so busy I haven’t been checking blogs – the dairy looks fantastic, and the ice cream even better.

    Don’t talk about vets bills – never pleasant reading. Damn expensive stuff this animal health business. I have just treated all my ewes with Vetrazin this afternoon, and then it piddled down, so that’s a bunch of money down the drain – have to do it again in the week.

  4. LittleFfarm Dairy says:

    Thanks, Richard – compliments always welcome!

    I know what you mean about the bills – we had our herd CAE tested a couple of months ago & what with other bits & pieces such as disbuddings, drugs such as Heptavac, getting the ponies & cats their annual hea;th check etc the monthly tally was almost £800. Thank goodness that’s the exception rather than the rule – but I don’t think that a lot of people realise just how expensive some of these things are.

    And I can fully understand smallholders being angry at having to pay for a 100-dose bottle of BTV8 vaccine if they’ve only got a handful of animals to inject. If like us they have goats, the animals have to be done twice – & of course you can’t just keep a broached bottle in the fridge, it has to be used up within hours….more expense.

    What is worrying, is something a veterinary friend mentioned the other day: that it’s now so expensive to relicense drugs as we’re turgidly bureaucratic in the UK, that many companies aren’t bothering to go through the process with some of the more ‘affordable’ remedies as the profit margins are so narrow; so they’re just being withdrawn from sale. Thus we can expect yet another price rise as we have to make do with what’s left……nightmare.

    Here’s hoping you get the weather for Vetrazin – but having looked at the forecast, I have to say, don’t hold your breath….!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s