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Greenheyes rainfallIt has been a dry month with only 27mm of rain. Over the year that gives us a grand total of 708mm of rain. That makes 2001 the wettest since our records began, which is not really a surprise since it is the first year since our records began.

Also this month we have seen our first frost and a small amount of snow.

Slurry storeThe dry weather has meant more spreading and the store is now empty apart from some solid muck I am saving for some gardener friends.

This shows our nearly empty store.

This month has seen a great deal of activity from the local police and environment
agency on Greenheyes.

As you may know the river Dane flows along our land, and if you read our October 2001 report, you may remember seeing pictures of a tree which had fallen across the river and the debris that it was collecting.

Recently a man walking his dog a mile or so upstream from the farm went missing, there was the possibility that the unfortunate gentleman had collapsed and fallen into the river Dane. Had he done so, it would have been highly likely that the tree would have caught him in its branches.

The police and environment agency search however proved unsuccessful, and at the time of writing the gentleman is unfortunately still missing

Environment Agency searching river
Police search team members
Environment Agency

These pictures show the police and environment agency checking the scene.

Antibiotic pasteWe have had eight calves born this month however the bad news is that we only have 4 live ones 3 black and white bulls and 1 black and white heifer.

2 calves were lain on by their mothers. It must be 10 years since this last happened but we had 2 in 24 hours. The other 2 have died from an infection called Roto-Virus which they get from their mothers we will now have to vaccinate all cows 6 weeks before they calve (the most effective treatment) in the meantime the calves are to be given this antibiotic paste within their first 12 hours of life.

Worse was to come with coccidiosis reappearing in our older calves. The vet says it is all very common this year as many farmers like us have more cattle than normal due to the foot and mouth restrictions keeping the auction markets closed.

All have now been treated. On the left is a microscope picture of the coccidiosis.

As my father used to say "where there is livestock there is deadstock" no comfort all the same.

Anyone for sage and onionChristmas was coming and off we went turkey plucking for Dorothy's Dad.

Here are some surplus loaded in the trailer to go to the turkey sale.

New heating for the parlourPaul our cameraman takes Christmas more seriously than I do (Bah Humbug....) and on returning from plucking I found these Fairy lights fitted in the milking parlour.

I dont care what the CSA say, I demand a DNA test!!!Pranks have a habit of returning to the pranksters and on the 23rd Hannah went to clean out their 2 FEMALE Chinchillas (Margot's birthday present last August) and found 2 babies looking at her.

I think Paul needs to stick to being a Paramedic and leave the livestock breeding to those who can tell the sex of an animal

The babies do look nice though.

If you would like to see how your daily pinta starts out on its journey, just click on the milk carton to check out how our milking parlour works.

As you may be aware, at least in the UK, this time of year is pantomime season. This year our daughter Sarah, along with her friends Hannah and Rebecca, and also her cousin Peter, are all taking part in "Old Mother Hubbard" a patomime being produced by the local group The Byley Players. if you are lucky enough to live locally why not pop along and have a good night out. Location and times can be found on the Byley Players web site.

Finally don't forget to check out the nature report for december





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