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turnout 29 April - in Cow Moor with some of the herd

turnout 29 April - in Cow Moor with some of the herd

It’s done – they’re out! Well, bar a handful of dry cows that’ll stay in to finish the remains of opened haylage bales.

I expected the new bull might be tricky to move. Buying him when I did last autumn he didn’t have an opportunity to run with the herd and he isn’t familiar with our farm or boundaries. Apart from which frustration and hormonal overload could make him very unpredictable. Not counting his twelve hour steamy sexathon with Severn back last September he’s been denied sex and those tantalising teasing heifers have been keeping him on his toes!

appraising...

appraising...

He came out of his pen as if ignited by rocket fuel. The almost-tonne of him bucked, kicked and charged through the cow palace roaring like the minotaur himself. And those saucy heifers with their come-hither eyes? Not so quick to throw their knickers at him now – they backed into the furthest corner of their pen, huddled and quaking, refusing to budge and inch!

We eventually persuaded them out of their corner and into the yard to face their bête noir. We then brought the cows and new calves into the group and were ready for the off.

I shout from inside the cow palace “Okay, calves okay. Ready when you are. Stop if I shout…”

Robert and Olly yell above the incessant cacophony of calling cattle “We’re opening the top yard gate now. You ready?”

“Yes” I scream over the noise – and the jostling rolling tide of  heaving motley-moulting red bodies surges forward leaving baby calves standing and stunned as their mothers disappear from sight.

It’s my job to keep the calves grouped and moving as best I can until they get the hang of running with the herd. All these calves have known is their secure cow palace world. One calf manages to slip through a gap by the cattle crush. I shriek “Hang on! Escapee, escapee. Hold the cattle!”

new man? Okaaay...

new man? Okaaay...

Olly and Robert do their best to steady and hold the stampede as I manoeuvre the calf back in with its herd. As I succeed the bull and a heifer break rank and steam off down the lane…we let them run holding back the cows; we know they won’t go too far (here’s praying) without the main herd. The herd strains and pushes forward eager to catch up with the disappearing pair though luckily Robert and Olly manage to control the pace.
We are prepared, the gate to Cow Moor is open and the rest of the lane blocked off, the bull and his consort swerve into the field, Robert and Olly step aside allowing the cattle to stream in after them. It’s done. The herd is safe and contained. We leave them in Cow Moor for the morning to let off steam, establish the pecking order and come to terms with the appearance of a new bull. After lunch, when they are hopefully calmer, we will walk them a mile or so down the road to the River Meadows.

this looks as if I'm cheering...I was actually trying to get rid of midges biting my ear!

this looks as if I'm cheering with relief...I was actually trying to get rid of midges biting my ear!

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Well, I’m speechless. Lost for words. Flabbergasted.

Severn, one of the sedate elders of the herd, came bulling.  Although she’s getting old and still has a large calf sucking, on Saturday morning she was in full flagrant heat and kicking up a rumpus in the cow palace.

As the cattle are inside Mr Big is no longer running with the cows and calves so I walked her round to his pen. He was delighted at this diversion, not having had any action for a month or more, and began his chat up line without a moment’s hesitation.  Sniffing, licking, snorting, nose crinkled up towards the heavens, nose ring practically touching his eyebrows in excitement and anticipation. Drooling and sweating, he gauged a couple of minutes to be enough foreplay and attempted to mount her.

She was having none of it. Tail clamped firmly down she shimmied and sashayed away from him at the crucial moment. Frustrated, but experienced, he resumed his advances. I left them to get their act together and got on with the chores.

After about an hour or so Mr Big was still having no success and his frustration and impatience was beginning to overspill into aggression.  So I decided to move Severn in with the new youngster, the toy boy.

I couldn’t believe my eyes… she she flashed him a long, smouldering, come-hither gaze as soon was she through the gate of his pen, and with barefaced brazen lust  presented him with a backside on fire and stood as firm as a rock as the show began. Rampant, raw, unrefined sex exploded throughout the cow palace. Mr Big howled with damaged pride at one end of the shed while the new ‘Mr Small’ roared in virile sexual frenzy at the other.   Severn, respectable Miss Marpleseque Severn, coudn’t get enough of it!

After a couple of hours of non stop activity the pair settled down to a late breakfast, exhausted and replete.  Her belly full and libido sated, Severn demanded to be returned to her calf; she swaggered back to the cows with this almost human smirk. And I swear the grin hasn’t left her face yet.

severn and her new 'toy' enjoy a late breakfast!

Severn and her new toy, Mr Small, enjoy a late breakfast! Now I understand it was not for nothing was she duped 'Seven of Nine' - of Voyager fame (see ear tag, and her name...)

Locks Park Farm

Thanks for visiting my blog. All entries are presented in chronological order.

I have a small organic farm on the Culm grasslands near Hatherleigh in Devon, with sheep and beef cattle. I've been farming in the county for more than 30 years. I've set up this blog to share views on farming and the countryside - please do give your thoughts.

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The Campaign to Protect Rural England has helped set up this blog. We want farming to thrive in England, and believe that it is essential that people understand farming and farmers better in order for that to happen. Paula's views expressed here are her own and we won't necessarily share all of them, but we're happy to have helped give her a voice.

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