Friday, 4 December 2009

Weaning begins


It seems like no time since Lucy and Honey arrived, but already Honey is over 3 months old. It is time to begin to wean her from Lucy as we prepare for when she dries off to have her own calf around March 22nd.

Honey loves to lick my hands. I'm not that keen!

So, much to Honey's disappointment, she is having only one milk feed a day and eating grass, hay and a tiny amount of Lucy's grain and mineral mix (when Lucy's not looking)! We've been doing it this way for over a week now, and both are doing well with the new routine. Honey still tries to get Lucy to feed her occasionally (she never accepted her as her own calf and only allows Honey to feed at "bucket time").

Scratching Honey's chin

In a few weeks I will have to cut out Honey's afternoon feed, and as demand drops, so will Lucy's supply, and then when I stop milking once a day as well it will be time for her to rest and eat grass and concentrate on growing a healthy calf.

And so the cycle goes...

Meanwhile, we are learning about:
* strip grazing through using electric fence
* getting the mineral/supplement mix and Neem spray applications right for deterring flies
* de-horning (dis-budding) calves (still researching)
* making cheeses
* handling a calf that weighs more than I do!

Lucy, 6 months gestation, enjoying the green grass after our first summer rains.


lyrebird said...

hello bel, your property looks similar to ours. i've just found your blog and will take some time to read through it, but it looks lovely. we live in sydney still but can't wait to eventually move to the place we got on the mid-north coast of nsw. where are you guys if you don't mind my asking?
kind regards,

Bel said...

Hello Kate! We are on the Atherton Tablelands, west of Cairns in North Queensland. I hope you can move to your property soon. :)