Well, a bloody awful start to summer with our TB test in June showing one reactor and three inconclusives and all of them our maiden heifers and one cow.  Since then I have heard that there is a thought that pregnant cows are more sensitive to the test.  I am feeling particularly sick because we only had this test done as a last attempt to get it moved from calving time, which is a nightmare, to early spring.  I have tried for 3 years to change it with the Ministry vets and every time they stuff it up – the last time being because their system collapsed and went back to older data!  So having it earlier was one way of beginning to work back to a spring test.  And then this happens.  The reactor also happens to be our best maiden heifer due to calf in Sept/Oct.

We decide to keep her until she has calved and so a very difficult summer continues with our herd having to be seperated into 3 groups for isolation.  I start looking into a homeopathic remedy which the ministry vets will allow you to use though you are not allowed to treat them conventionally – its the first time I’ve been pleased that homoeopathy is not considered in any other light than placebo!

And so here is sweet Tatiana,  the calf of our lovely girl Queenie.  Queenie has had to go to slaughter and we have since been notified that there was no evidence of TB.

Thankfully we have gone clear on our follow up TB test so our inconclusives are off  the firing line.  

It’s a tough year with particularly difficult calving and some sad losses,  in hind sight we think there might have been a connection with the Smallenberg disease that is a virus causing calf and lamb abnormalities .  It’s been prevalent in Britain and I feel that the last five wet and cold summers have finally affected the vitality and natural vigour of our herd and diminished valuable minerals and trace elements in the soil and grass. (we have since added minerals to their water, in particular magnesium,  and had a whole farm homoeopathic remedy prescribed by our homeopathic vet for all our animals including us).

This cheers me up;

Our dearest Slipper, enjoying a bit of comfort in her old age.

By Lisa Guy

I am an organic beef and wildlife farmer

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