Monday, April 04, 2016

Wonderful Mother Nature

Today has been the most amazing day with the expectant mamas of the farm.
It started this morning. Our milking cow, Missy-Moo, is due to calve on the 23rd of April. The countdown is on, and as I watched her eating her porridge this morning I thought I saw a movement in her belly. Being as quiet as she is, I walked over and placed both my hands onto her stomach where I thought I saw the movement. I didn't have to wait long before I felt a very distinct movement happening inside - unmistakably her little calf kicking about in there.
That's the first time I've felt a baby moving inside an animal's belly and the delight I felt was akin to the thrill I got the first time I held an egg to my ear on its hatching day and heard it peep and peck at the shell inside.

This afternoon I stopped to look at the sheep before letting them through to their shed for the night. I've got one ewe who I purchased last year at the same time we bought the ram home. Minty has been running with Chilli Chops non-stop since then but hasn't lambed or shown any signs of falling pregnant. I was thinking if she doesn't lamb this time around I'll have to send her to the butcher for sausages. It sounds harsh, I know, but reality is on our small block of land I can't afford to feed animals that don't produce in some way.
Minty has been looking increasingly fat the last month or so, and then in the last week her udder has began to grow. I've felt hopeful, but not certain that she is in lamb. Some animals with hormone problems can have slight udder changes without actually being pregnant.
This afternoon however, her pregnancy was confirmed. As I stood looking at the flock I noticed her side bulging out and watched in amazement as I saw what was a pair of very lively hooves kicking at the stomach. It looked pretty painful, actually, and with the force those feet were kicking out made me wonder if there was more than one lamb in there playing football.
Only time will tell I suppose, but I'm so happy to be able to finally look forward to Minty having a baby.

Whilst I don't have a due date for Minty, lambing for most of the ewes is set to start from the 7th of June, followed by three more lambing in late winter and early Spring. (The late winter lambing was not my plan, Daisy, pictured above, took control of her own family planning!).
There are no calves to look forward to this year (aside from Missy's) as the dry weather has been so hard on the cattle for the last 12-18 months that we decided not to put them back in calf this year. I know we absolutely made the right decision but I am really going to miss those sweet little Lowline calves this year.

How did your week start?
I hope you have a good one!

Sarah x


  1. Sarah, your beautiful photos and stories bring back so many happy memories for me. My Mother was a Land Army girl after the war and one of her jobs was to milk the dairy herd. She taught me that cows have a hierarchy, kick each other if they get out of line and that each one knows their name. Also I grew up next to a farm where I was sent every Saturday to buy fresh eggs. My favourite animals there were the pigs who, I believe, are also very intelligent. The farmer's wife let me handle the piglets, see the new calves in their shed and feel the woolly coats of the sheep, so I have always been encouraged to have a great love for animals. Obviously I live half-a-world away from you, but I greatly appreciate and always look forward to reading your blog posts.

    1. Thank-you for your lovely comment Ann. I loved reading about your childhood experiences. Going to buy fresh eggs every weeks sounds so wonderful. I took believe that pigs are intelligent, certainly they are the cleanest animals I have come across. We raised a few for the first time last year and I was quite surprised to find out just what pigs are actually like compared to how they are depicted.
      I'm so glad you hear you enjoy to here, it means a lot to me! x

  2. Absolutely amazing moments Sarah, described and captured so beautifully! You know your animals are some of the luckiest animals in QLD, don't you? x

    1. Thank-you so very much Jane, your comment made my day x

  3. How fun to feel Missy-Moo's baby move. And how exciting that Minty decided to be a mom. Look forward to baby pictures!

    1. Thanks Laurie - I'll be sure to post some x

  4. What a beautiful thing to experience with your animals. Nature is indeed wonderful.

  5. How exciting! I look forward to seeing pictures. Mother Nature is wonderful.


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Maira Gall