Oh no, you clicked on the About Me page, that means you want to know who I am and what on earth I know about farming and rural life.
Great picture eh, farming lass born and bred ….. erm nope. My farming experience began much later in life and it was a rude awakening I can tell you.
My parents were always outdoor type people so I grew up with a great fondness and respect for the countryside, with a love of animals. With my first horse came the hunter wellies and the wax jacket – yep I was a country girl .. or so I thought at the time.
That was until in my early 30′s when I went on a date with a Cumbrian farmer. After lunch we went back to feed the calves, hey I had been a girl guide so had my wellies in the boot of the car, always prepared.
It took about five minutes before my Hunter wellies landed me on my backside and I was handed a pair of good old Nora’s, not nearly as fashionable but I looked a lot less silly in a vertical position.
As our personal relationship progressed I started to learn about breeding sheep and cows, usually through sign language and lots of ranted obscenities. However, this didn’t put me off and I moved into the farm full time.
The very first thing I was told was never to get between a cow and her calf, no problem I could remember that. However I was also told that a calf born in the cattle shed had to be moved out quickly or the herd was likely to crush it.
Following a bad car accident I was trussed up like the Christmas turkey in neck brace, plaster and crutches. My other half had gone for a night out with his friends and I stayed home to have a relax. About 10.30pm I decided to have a wander down to the cattle sheds to check everything was ok. There was a new born right next to the ring feeder and huge legs tramping all around it. Remembering lesson two I hobbled across and with great effort managed to move the herd into one section and close the gate, leaving just the cow and calf in the centre section – now just to get them into a holding pen.
Please try to picture this, I am trying to lift a new born calf, still slimey and amazingly heavy, with a neck in a brace and a crutch under one arm. Of course I had forgotten rule one and just as I remebered it Mum decided that touching her baby was a big no-no and it was time to kill me. It’s incredible how quickly you can run with a leg injury isn’t it ….. well it is with an insane beast after you.
So sitting on top of the dividing wall, once the tears had subsided, I hatched my devious plan of how to separate mother and calf, get calf into holding pen and then let mother in. It took over an hour and a lot of physical pain but I finally managed it.
Most proud of myself I called the local pub to let my other half know to check on them when he got home, the landlord said he would pass on a message.
Ten minutes later a van full of drunken farmers came bounding into the yard shouting about ambulances and finding me dead on the floor. Woops, the message the landlord passed was “Sally has had some trouble and needs you to go home”. Thinking about my accident the boyfriend landed expecting the worst.
When I proudly explained what had happened and what I had managed to do he almost blew a blood vessel shouting about rule one, stormed down to the sheds and let the mother and calf out back among the herd. I was not amused. Welcome to farming.
If you stick around the blog for a while I will tell you about learning how not to drive over a sleeping sheeps head with a tractor …. another big woops.
However, I did start to learn about farming and over a decade later I feel far more prepared to take on a mental beast (the farmer that is) …. and some animals as well.
I hope you enjoy the blog and find some useful information among my ramblings. Please leave comments, it’s always nice to know I am not talking to myself and other peoples experiences will help readers to learn.