TB affects thousands of cattle a year and our herd here at Arlington also became infected.
We lost 15 animals 3 whom were pregnant including our oldest cow Limmy who was one of our foundation members of the herd here at Arlington. Murray and I watched in agony as our cows were loaded into lorries every 60 days and taken from the farm.
Looking after the cattle you get to know their personalities and quirks and you do feel great affection for them therefore every time one leaves it is like you are loosing a friend.
|Limmy and I|
After 12 months and no sign of any let up we became extremely weary of this situation having lost 50% of our herd in such a short space of time.
May however gave us new hope as our three pregnant cows gave birth to three heifer calves which is so vital for the future of the herd.
|Ranger Dave with Rosalie and her new born calf.|
But in June of this year we finally got the news we had hoped for; we had a clear test. In that moment as a team we high fived each other and I for one felt complete euphoria.
Having been cleared of TB it also gave us the opportunity to hire a bull which would help increase our pregnancy percentage in our cows.
A Bull has been very kindly loaned from a local farmer who breeds pedigree Devon's. He is only a 18 month old so we were a little bit worried he would be a little small for the job but he seems to be managing.
He has got all of our 9 heifers and cows who are old enough to go to the bull and we are very excited at the prospect of new calves in May and June next year. Our cows play a vital role on this estate grazing for conservation purposes and it is run as a viable farming business bringing in profit to help us pay for the upkeep of our estate.
Our cows telling me they are ready to change fields!