Pedigree Hereford Cattle 

Prime Hereford Beef

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This "blog" is written every month for the local parish magazine so that the community get an insight into farming!  We have added it to the website to give everyone a taste of farming life!

Tom & Di receiving the award for Moralee 1 Rebel Kicks KS R12 winning Champion of Europe, in Fort Worth, Texas. 

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January 2022/February 2022 - "A month of highs and lows"

This month we have seen some of our saddest days and also some of our happiest most memorable days. Apologies to use this cliché but it’s been one emotional rollercoaster…

After the longest, hardest, bravest battle against illness, Toms mum Carol passed away mid January. She was the stalwart of Eltringham Farm and she will be hugely missed by us all, but we will strive to continue to make her proud with what we do at Moralee Herefords.

The morning after her death the vet arrived for the planned compulsory whole herd TB Test, Johnes Test and annual vaccinations. I know I’ve mentioned this before, but life has to continue on the farm no matter what the circumstances. The TB test itself involves on day one two small injections in the neck and skin measurements are taken. The vet returned on day four to check whether there were any reactions/lumps where the injections were made, it’s a very nervous wait in these few days but I’m very pleased to say we had a clear test. As we are classed as being in a low risk TB area we don’t need another whole herd test for 4 years, just pre and post movement tests for our show cattle. The Johnes Test involves taking bloods which are sent away to a lab to be tested. Johnes is a wasting disease which can spread through the herd gradually if not eliminated, therefore we test annually for this. Once again we were clear. A bit like us with Covid vaccinations cattle also have annual vaccinations for BVD and Lepto which were also done on this day. It was a busy time, but we are now sound in the knowledge that the herd has passed its health checks. Our health status is important when selling and showing cattle, and for any cattle to fail any of the tests it would have had dire consequences. But many farmers in other parts of the country unfortunately do have to deal with the consequences of TB on a daily basis.

Now to the highs! I may have talked previously about our prize winning bull Moralee 1 Rebel Kicks. He won many shows last summer and in December he was crowned Champion of Europe! This win gave us the opportunity of a lifetime to represent Rebel and collect our prize at the Champion of the World final in Fort Worth, Texas in January. Obviously with the passing of Toms mum and covid restrictions we were not sure whether to go, but together with our very good friends Steven and Helen from Keadyview Cattle Services who worked a lot with Rebel we headed off on this trip!

There are many tales to tell but I have to say we embraced the Texas lifestyle to the full! We were all kitted out with cowboy boots and hats! We visited ranches, rodeos, cattle shows, ate Texas BBQ and drank tequila! We also appeared on the Cowboy Channel TV and had a ride in a stretch limmo pick up! In the competition Rebel was awarded 3rd best in the world…quite an accolade and we collected 3,000 dollars prize money! It really was the trip of a lifetime and we could only go because we are lucky to have people we can trust and rely on at home on the farm. Toms Dad Arnold is always on hand and our stockman Matthew Henson looked after everything as if it was his own in our absence.

What about new born calves I bet you are asking! We’ve had a lot of sleepless nights but we now have 8 healthy calves on the ground - 4 bulls and 4 heifers! All good calves which makes the whole cost of the IVF embryo process worthwhile, as it’s all a bit of a gamble and not always a successful outcome!

So the days are getting longer, and hopefully the winter will remain kind as we head into spring. Thats it for calving until mid March. We can hopefully look forward to turning some cattle out from the sheds into the fields in March and something new for us at Moralee….lambing!! Oh and we are attending the Northern Farmer Awards in a couple of weeks where we have two nominations! So plenty more to update you on next month! Yee-ha cowboy!

Our Blog

This "blog" is written every month for the local parish magazine so that the community get an insight into farming!  We have added it to the website to give everyone a taste of farming life!

Our Latest Blog Entry

December 2021/January 2022 - "Winter"

After the success of the winter shows the show kit is packed away for now until the spring.  Winter has certainly arrived which brings us all sorts of challenges on the farm. Rain, shine, wind or snow we have 120 hungry mouths to feed every day!

Two thirds of the herd are inside in the sheds, eating the silage that we collected during the summer. They regularly require mucking out and refreshing the straw beds they lie in. Our sheds have plenty of air which hopefully keeps them healthy as there is a risk of pneumonia amongst the young stock. Knowing the cattle is important so that any health issues can be spotted early and treated if necessary. We aren’t just farmers we have to be their carers , doctors and nurses!

Many of the locals that walk dogs on Eltringham Farm will know that some of our herd are wintered outside. Herefords are very hardy and our farm provides plenty of shelter from the weather, and we make sure they are provided with silage in their feeders. We’ve also planted some fields of a crop called hybrid rape which will keep their bellies full over the winter. The fields do get a bit muddy and plunged but it’s surprising how they recover in the spring.

So it’s mainly a similar daily routine of feeding etc during the shorter January days, but there can be various unexpected challenges thrown at us like snow, frozen water troughs, damage to sheds or fences by the weather (resulting in escaped cattle) but that’s what farming life is!

We do have something to look forward to this month though! It’s mind blowing for many but we have an extensive IVF embryo program! We have 8 recipient (surrogate) cows due to give birth that are carrying embryos created as a result of IVF from our best bloodlines. All being well we will end up with some healthy calves being born this month!

Happy New Year everyone! Keep safe and warm, and don’t forget we still sell our own Hereford beef which is perfect for those winter warming stews!