The cattle are doing really well in our Parkland. They have been completely unphased by walkers and vehicles, and curious with any visitors. The calves are now looking more adolescent and it has been great to watch their progress.
Pictured here you can see our firstborn named Xenia by one of our friends and also Sycamore who we pictured being bottle fed as his mum had decided she didn’t want to feed him way back in February. Both of them and indeed all of the calves are doing well. Even Xerxes who ate something that went down the wrong way and had to receive medical attention from the vet is now fine.
Xenia, our firstborn.
Sycamore, posing for the camera.
All the calves were tagged within the first week of their lives and they now all sport yellow earrings with their personal number on. They all have individual passports too! Of course, like all youngsters, they can be mischievous. We’ve had one escape to the front garden and another to a tenant’s house… And they all like to try and tiptoe across the cattle grids!
We have lost count of the times when mummy cows have been calling to their offspring to get around a gate/fence over to them; it all seems so similar to the human world.
The Estate’s four bulls (Prospero, Squire, Sooty and Puzzle) have certainly proven their worth, siring an impressive total of 64 calves (34 heifers and 30 steers) since their arrival. The young male calves, also known as steers, are carefully vetted and those lucky enough to be raised as breeding bulls are not castrated! A prize bull can cost anything from £4,000 to £20,000, although interestingly, they are still bought and sold in old money with 1 guinea being equal to 1 pound and a shilling.
Xerxes, receiving treatment.
Part of the herd when they first arrived.
Some of our own pure bloodstock comes from ‘Charlie’, (or Biddlesden Great Expectations to give him his official title), who was possibly Herd Manager, John Crutchley’s, favourite bull ever. John is shown here fondly tugging at Charlie’s forelock and apparently, he could be so placid that it shows children sitting on his back and he wouldn’t bat an eyelid!
Unfortunately, this is not a stereotypical trait of a bull, so they are legally required to have a ring through their nose if there is even a slight possibility they will need to be guided/controlled when in a public terrain in the future.
Great bulls are integral to preserving a good bloodline and their semen can be preserved and sold on in ‘straws’ that are kept refrigerated. We even hold a bank of these here at the Estate and have sold them to breeders across the globe. Our very own bull Sooty is in fact, Charlie’s grandson!
John, Herd Manager, with Charlie, his favourite bull.
Lincoln Red beef served at Cadwell Sidecar Revival.
The Lincoln Red beef tasting sessions at the Cadwell Sidecar Revival proved to be a great success, and everyone seemed to enjoy our tender cuts of beef. Joe Blissett, Commercial and Business Manager for the Estate, has been looking into refrigeration and postal packaging to ensure that when our beef product is available to customers, it will always be delivered at its best.
We will continue to work closely with all aspects of the cattle market and are looking at building our own herd up, with a possibility of moving into dairy farming as well as the prime beef. With this in mind, John recently attended the International Dairy Farming Conference in Santiago – where cutting edge technology and animal welfare were at the forefront.