Wednesday, 31 August 2011

First of the New Calves, French Students

The first calves of the season have been born in the last few days. These in the picture are not twins though we had a set of twins born this morning. Unfortunately they are a heifer & a bull which means the heifer will probably be a freemartin and therefore sterile and fit only for slaughter.
These calves are the first ones born as result of artificial insemination by Elder Son who did his training a year or so ago. By having our own flask of semen straws here on the farm and someone who is trained saves us having to pay AI fees and so far the results are looking good.
Although the photo is rather dark this is our first Ayrshire calf to be born this year. It is a bull calf, we always hope for heifers but he will rear well for beef.

With the sudden improvement of the weather today it is all go for more silage, both our own & that of neighbours. Younger Son has gone off to mow on a neighbouring farm while Elder Son &  the Farmer are busy preparing another clamp inside one of the sheds & turning our own grass that was cut two days ago.

The French Student has gone off for the day with the Belgian vet which is great for him & relieves us from having to keep him occupied here. He cannot drive tractors so on days like today when it is all tractor work it is difficult finding jobs for him. He returns to France tomorrow & I think we have done our bit for Anglo/French relations for a good long while. We have had many French students over the years, some better than others, but is hard work, for them & us, when their command of English is so limited. I suspect they think their English is quite good until they actually get here and find that they are unable to understand most of what is said. My dredging up of 'O' Level French gets us through the very tricky patches but it is a strain...a month can be a very long time! The FS himself however, seems to be very happy and to have enjoyed his stay which is the main thing I suppose.

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