GUEST BLOGGER: Farmer Dave’s daughter-in-law Debbie
This is Henry. He is Daisy Made's bull, and in May he will be celebrating his 8th birthday. He’s lived on Daisy Made farm for the past seven years after travelling from Derbyshire at the ripe old age of one.
Some may consider Henry a lucky man as he has between 10 and 20 girlfriends at any one time. And before he gets bored of his current harem, they’re regularly rotated. This is because it’s Henry’s duty to impregnate the female cows on the farm, and so far, he hasn’t done a bad job. He is father to approximately 30 calves a year, which makes his running total about 210! Fortunately for Henry, social services haven’t caught up with him yet. Can you imagine the child maintenance? It’d be astronomical! It wouldn’t be that difficult for social services to spot his children either, as he passes his white face onto each of his offspring. On some days you should be able to spot Henry grazing in the field beside Daisy Made. Another one of Henry’s favourite spots is the field which you can see from the ‘Poppies, Poppies, Poppies’ sign on the sustrans.
Henry is a pedigree Hereford. He is just one of five million pedigree Hereford cattle that now exist in over 50 countries. Amazingly, they originated from our little island in Herefordshire, England, UK. Henry’s a big fella who weighs approximately one metric tonne – astonishing really since his diet consists of grass, hay, silage and meal. Despite Henry’s beastly appearance and the fact he weighs the same as a small car, he is a gentle giant. Some may say that fatherhood mellowed Henry, but no, he’s been happy since the day he landed on Daisy Made farm.
It was time just recently for Daisy and friends to have their health check done, with particular regard to tuberculosis (TB).
This is always a slightly worrying time, for me that is! Daisy is oblivious to such things.
Our vet, Archie, has the job of measuring the thickness of the skin on each of our cows' necks, this is recorded and then each cow is injected with a fake TB solution at the same place on her neck . If the cow has ever been exposed to real TB her immune system will react and the injection site will swell. If her body doesn't recognise the fake TB jab there will be no reaction.
Archie then returns 2 days later to recheck each cows' skin thickness.
The whole thing is quite a lengthy process but I am delighted to say that all our cows passed with flying colours :) and we can now wait 4 years before our next test. Lincolnshire is historically TB free, hence the long period between testing. Farms in other counties which have recorded TB cases have to test every year or every 6 months in some parts.
TB has been in the news a lot recently, with badgers being blamed for spreading the disease. This has led to a badger cull in some parts of the country which has caused a lot of anger amongst nature lovers.
Fortunately Lincolnshire remains TB free and so both badgers and cows can sleep easily at night... (err, well not badgers actually as they are nocturnal and sleep in the daytime but you know what I mean ;) )
So it gives me great pleasure to state that NO BADGERS WERE HARMED IN THE MAKING OF DAISY MADE ICECREAM. Perhaps I should make some 'badger friendly' stickers to put up!!
Look forward to seeing you all soon.
P.S. Don't forget we are open all week during half term hols.