Relief beef

No sooner were the chicks installed in the laundry than we got a call from Johnny. Apparently he’d arrived home late this afternoon to find our new calf waiting in the yard so he was loading her to bring over to our place.

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A little while later, the rumble of a farm bike and the rattle of a trailer heralded the young heifer’s arrival.  Immediately, we could see how bright, lively, inquisitive and nervous this little Jersey/Fresian cross was – a very different story from poor Willow. 

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We had only just got her coat on and moved her into the paddock when Maisie and Robyn came home from school.  As they came up the drive, we could see their faces light up. After lightening quick change from school uniform, they joined us in the paddock and had the honour of giving the calf her first bottle feed.

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At some point during the feeding, the calf was named TJ – the initials of Maisie’s last and much-loved primary school teacher who recently died of cancer. 

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TJ quickly drank the two litres of milk and began the tentative process of getting acquainted with Poppy the lamb and the chooks with whom she’ll be sharing the home paddock for the next while.

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So, as of this evening, our growing livestock register stands at:

  • One lamb
  • One heifer
  • One rooster
  • Three laying chickens
  • Five day-old chicks

We’ve been considering at least one more lamb and really, around here, who knows what tomorrow will bring or when we’ll gifted another blessing to steward?

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One Response to “Relief beef”

  1. The internet is such a wild and mystical place. We were watching a history program about the first world war and daddy asked me to look up “bully beef” then we looked to see if there was an American equivalent, as my husband remembered cousins getting “relief beef” in Kentucky back in the late 50’s. It was that phrase that brought me to this sweet accounting of the little heifer and the images of farm and family. Like jasmine on a zephyr, a wisp of some rare and delightful fragrance these images and words drifted past my tired eyes. I could smell the freshly cut sweet grass and admire your lovely girls. The internet allows us a unique form of voyeurism. I want to apologize as if I’ve stumbled upon a sacred family moment, trespassing on the grassy slopes of your yard. So accept my apology but take with it the praise and wonder of a stranger who happened upon this window to your world, who envies and delights in all she sees. – An old woman lost in cyberspace.

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