Helena, PDing and rain...

Emma Heseltine - 08 July 2012

This morning I am given a reminder of why I love my job (as if I need one). Finally Helena has decided to have her calf, and thankfully I’m about to see it. She has picked her spot and is giving it a go. It actually takes quite a while and there is a lot of standing up and lying down and walking around in circles which goes on. Then there is feet peeking out. I have to resist the urge to go closer and have a look, this is not like lambing a ewe. The Longhorns are a very easy calve breed, as a hardy native improved breed you would expect nothing less. They very rarely need any help and it’s quite rare to actually catch one of them in the act, Helena must have been in sharing mood. Eventually with a supreme effort the calf appears and after a little rest Helena gets to the task of licking it clean and dry, and giving it some encouraging moo’s. Its blinking and sneezing and before we know it is trying to get up on its feet but its still too wobbly and goes head first into the mud and nettles a couple of times, calm down calf you can have a little rest! Later we come to check on it and she has got up and is co-ordinating her long wobbly calf legs and going on a teat seeking mission, that’s what we want to see. Welcome to the world Kendal, sorry it’s a bit rainy for you.

It’s the great deluge. How much can it rain? We are getting the cattle PD’d at Tarraby, they are not in the mood and we have a bit of a battle getting them into the pen. Eventually success and Mari the vet can get in and have a look around with the scanner. We let Jeremiah out; he doesn’t need pregnancy detection, he paces about mooing, ever the anxious father. Things are well, those we hope are in calf are and there is only one who is a little vague but Anne was only seen bulling recently so wouldn’t be that far along. Next job is to ship two cows and their calves plus Acorn to Finglandrigg. This is one of the new reserves we are grazing for natural England and they are keen to get some cattle on there. It’s a three trip job; trailer isn’t big enough for any more. It pours down with rain whilst we are away and Ellis and Kai are in several inches of water when we get back, they are actually quite keen to get in the trailer when we try to load them. There is quite a lake at Tarraby.

Emma completed a degree in Creative Imaging at Huddersfield University before working for a photography studio as an editor. Taking a break from the office world she worked in outdoor education for several years, climbing, abseiling, shooting, trampolining and even life-guarding with children of all ages. When Emma found out about the apprenticeship scheme with the Soil Association it seemed the perfect chance to do something worthwhile and fulfilling. After much searching and badgering farms in the North of England she found a position with Hadrian Organics and started in July 2011. So far it is living up to her expectations, every day is a new challenge and every day is different.

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