This month has been tense at Mark’s Farm, after another TB test. The vet checked each of the cattle individually and announced there were no reactions to their initial injections and it was another ‘clear test’. This means Mark’s farm is officially ‘TB free’ for another year, and it will now be possible to sell cattle at a good price, although the beef price has dropped in the UK following the horse meat scandal.
Mark had hoped that the price would increase as consumers put pressure on the supermarkets to supply genuine British beef. It would appear that the supermarkets have already found another way to supply beef without paying fair prices to the British farmer. Farmers Weekly magazine reads “In March, there was a 22% increase in total UK imports for the month – the bulk of which are from Ireland”. This is another blow for the British beef farmer.
Ruby’s here to stay! All the puppies are now happy in their new homes. One of puppies had to stay a little longer as her new owner, due to unforeseen circumstances, couldn’t commit to a puppy at this moment in time. This was great news as Ruth has said she can stay long-term and called her Ruby. Ruby begins her puppy training on Thursday and Mark and his family hope to see her out and about on the estate with Belle soon.
The oats and spring barley seeded in April have shot up and are growing nicely. We hope more corn will shoot to thicken the crop. Mark needs to keep an eye on its progress as this feed and bedding will be vital for the cattle in the winter.
One of the older cows, Vic, had developed a lump in her eye which began weeping. The vet came to look at her and diagnosed it as cancer. This was upsetting to hear especially as she was heavily pregnant and may have to have been put down. Mark and the vet discussed the operation needed to remove the tumour and decided to go ahead. Within no time she was back out in the field again and a few days later had her healthy newborn calf.
The Ruby Reds are back up on the hill doing what they do best, eating, eating, sunbathing, and eating. The Ruby Reds are particularly good at reclaiming areas of bracken and gorse and reinstating it as grassland, naturally through grazing. This is really important to the eco system and takes many years to achieve. Hopefully, whilst using the hill, you can see the benefits of where the Ruby Reds have been grazing and the difference they are making.
What a beautiful sight!