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Snow and calves

Leigh Old Chancel

Swan tracks in the snow

Like a lot of southern England we had some snow at the weekend. About 6 inches which was enough to make things look nice but not really a problem. At this time of year we have all our stock inside however we had several hundred wild geese grazing in the field and 30 swans. The swans swim up the river then walk 200m out into the field to graze, leaving tracks in the snow, and then have to dig for the grass - a significant amount of effort.

We have also now started calving and so far have 9 new calves. That leaves 32 left to calve between now and early April. One decided to come backwards which was a bit interesting but she and her mother are fine. I've also started weighing some of them a day after birth - as was intrigued to know what sort of weighs they are, at the moment they are coming out at between 35 and 40kg - the idea size for a quick easy birth. If you are wondering how you weigh a calf it involves catching the calf, picking it up and standing on a set of bath room scales stood on a square of plywood in the pen...... We expect them to grow at about 800g a day, so they rapidly get pretty big. Hopefully there won't be too much wet or cold weather left in store but who knows. Watch out for details of our farm walks in April and May when you can come and see them all.

A freshly born calf and her attentive mother

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