Next was our first calf, Deli. His mum Delilah looks almost gentle,
doesn't she? We had the chance to buy her own mother in September, but
thought better of it as she was even wilder...
Not every British White is born quite the right colour... but by
next morning Solly (short for Solstice) was beautifully clean and white.
Tragically, his lovely mother Silver died suddenly two months later of
redwater fever, a haemolytic disease transmitted by ticks. Delilah was
forgiven everything when she adopted Silver's calf — but there's no more
fresh frothy milk for our coffee!
Delilah and the boys were soon joined by five new heifers to keep Crunchie the gentle bull occupied during his visit (top of page, earlier with poor Silver). An unfortunate series of events (involving numerous injections, an undescended testicle and far too much contact with several vets) resulted in the cattle being quarantined in the yard for nearly two months. Frustration on all sides as two of the inexperienced (but very willing!) new heifers had to be kept isolated. Thankfully Crunchie has belatedly been able to resume his duties after the heifers were pronounced healthy by MAFF — as we'd thought, their reaction was due to the redwater jab not TB. By the time you read this our little herd will be starting work at last, grazing heathland for a landfill restoration project in Ringwood Forest. Press release shortly!