N for NVZ

Green muck-spreader spreading livestock manure in a field. Red and gold bauble with gold 14 in centre of image.

It always shocks people when they see how much paperwork is involved in farming. There’s that age-old belief that it’s an industry stuck in the past, run solely on hard graft and dirty hands. But there’s an administrative side, and without a pen and paper, or a laptop or tablet nowadays, you won’t be farming […]

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The Three M-words

Black cow stood in a field washing a black calf standing in front of her. Red and gold bauble with gold 13 bottom centre of image.

There are many ills and ailments breeding animals can go down with, but three that spring to mind that all involved the letter M are Milk Fever, Mastitis and Magnesium Deficiency (known as Grass Staggers, but that’s not an M word). And coincidentally, we’ve had a brush with all 3 in the last 12 months! […]

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L for Lowlands

The British landscape is so vast and varied. From the highlands of Scotland, to the fairly flat fields of Lincolnshire. The mountains of Wales and hills of the Yorkshire Dales, to the lush, green fields further down the valley, where everything finds it a little easier to thrive – it’s those areas that are called […]

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K for Knackerman

The person you never want to have to call, but who plays a vital role in keeping the countryside running.

Anything involving death is a sensitive subject, but when you’re in close proximity to animals, you’re going to be faced with it at some point, hopefully I can cover this subject as respectfully as possible here.

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J for Jigsaw

Sometimes, a missing piece of the puzzle arrives in the form of a little black and white calf…The start of calving is always full of an equal mix of nervousness and excitement, slightly weighted towards the nervous end of the spectrum. But as we get into the swing of it, the nerves fade a bit, but you’re always waiting […]

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I for Identification

Eartags are the bane of our life here; it seems our cows lose them for fun. We find them hung in hedges, leaving just a hole where they once sat in their teddy-bear ears. Which is a bit of a pain since, legally, all cattle in the UK have to have 2 tags, so we […]

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H is for Hefting

Have you ever wondered how the sheep and cows you see on the moors know to stay there without fences? It’s because those animals were hefted to that area. Hefting – A traditional way of managing animals on communal land where they learn to stay in a small local area (or heft) without the need […]

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G for Gestation Lengths

Brown newborn calf laid in straw with its mother's nose sniffing it. Red and gold bauble with gold 7 in bottom centre of image.

We’re 1 week into this Farm Dictionary Advent Calendar and today it’s G for Gestation Lengths. Gestation lengths differ both between species and within them. As I’m sure anyone who’s been pregnant will tell you, there’s no such thing as an exact due date when Mother Nature is involved! Gestation Length – Average length of time […]

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F for FEC

If you were to wander into our kitchen at some point, you may find me sat at the table, looking at cow poo or horse poo through a microscope. Something my dad wishes I’d do elsewhere but since it’s been banned from my bedroom, as that’s where I bake and cook, the only logical place […]

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We’re jumping all the way to the end of the life-cycle here and talking carcase classification and what the letters and numbers, like R4L, actually mean. EUROP Grid – The method of carcase classification used in the UK, with ‘E’ being the best shaped. The level of fat covering on the carcase is then assessed […]

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