So the eagle eyed among you will have noticed the school's cattle herd wandering up from the river ground to the farm yard last week.
Ably assisted by the pre-prep, who stopped the cows going the wrong way down the drive, and some nimble footwork from Claire, Sacha, Mrs Brown and Ant, the Wednesday activity team fetched all the cattle up last week. I am sure that some of you will guess that this is to prepare for winter, and you would be right, but that isn't the only reason.
We do move the cattle to the higher ground above the school for winter, it is slightly harder wearing and therefore able to stand up to wetter conditions, but also if we have floods, it is easier to move a few horses, than the cattle, from the land by the river.
Once the cattle were in the yard, we split them into two groups, the cows, with the bull and the younger stock. The young stock have been separated from the 'adults' and get to spend the winter together as a small group. The cows were kept in the yard, because they were all being checked to see if they were pregnant.
Jemarie Sullivan, a Cattle Scanner, came to the Yr 11 Agri lesson last week and bought along her cattle scanning equipment, we put each of the cows though the cattle crush and they were checked to see if they were pregnant. Of the 7 cows, 5 should have been pregnant, with Bill, the old school bull, the father. Four of them were..., with one not pregnant. The one not pregnant has a curable problem that myself and Ant will try to sort.
This is the scan of Daisy's calf, and if you look at the bottom left hand corner you will see a date - 24/05/2017 - this is the due date of this calf!! The other three pregnant cows are due in mid to late spring as well. So hopefully next May there will be plenty of pictures like this one.
The two cows that weren't pregnant, are actually the daughters of Bill, the old school bull. He has now gone to another farm because his daughters are now joining the herd and he can't breed with them. We now have a new school bull called Storm, who will introduce a new bloodline to the schools herd. In keeping with his importance, he was presented with his ID badge this week (although, he wasn't that keen to wear it).
Storm is now running with all 7 cows and hopefully the three that aren't pregnant, soon will be. They will spend a peaceful winter around Reddies Grave and in Toboggan field.
Next time I will be introducing exciting changes to the farming and estate courses being offered by the school.