Last Thursday Andy the vet came in to hoof trim a couple of the cows on Bakers. We had spent the week before baiting the cows over to the corrall, so that on the day itself, we could make sure that we were able to round them all up and get them where we wanted them. To bait them, we take in the RTV and cattle feed and call them over to where we want them. Once they catch onto the idea that 'calling+RTV = food', they're pretty good at coming to call.
So on Thursday morning, Carol and I popped out and called the girls over to the corrall and got the ones sorted that we needed to. Malda 1 (the girl below!) needed to have her GPS collar taken off as it's stopped working (as have a couple of the others which is a bit worrying...) so she was given a bit of sedation before it was removed and was let out the crush.
After Malda 1's collar was removed, Black Myra was the first cow to have her hooves trimmed. It was decided that the best way to do it was to completely knock her out with sedative and then hoof trim her when she was lying down, with a couple of people holding her hooves/horns so no-one got hit with them at any point!
Black Myra mid-sedated! The front of her collapsed before the back end did...
As you can see it wasn't exactly a delicate process. Andy mainly used an angle grinder and a saw was als used for some of the hooves! It doesn't cause them any pain though if you cut a bit too far up the nail then it hits the live nail, which then bleeds lots. Only one of Myra's hooves did that thankfully, and none of the 2nd girls, Griannach.
So after B.Myra had her hooves done, she was let out - she kind of staggered out as she was still very sleepy! Griannach then was moved down the corrall where we wanted her (which took a while as she was being very stubborn) and the same process happened to her. She took a lot less time to be affected by the sedative but was knocked out by it for a lot longer!
Once Griannach's hooves were done, a few of us stayed with her for a while just to make sure she came out of the sedation ok. It took her the rest of the day, but eventually she did!..
In the afternoon, there was a grazing forum meeting, which was mainly talking about all the animal movements that are going to be happening over the next year. This summer, the bulls and cows are going to be rejoined together and also some cattle are moving over to verralls (5 from Bakers and 3 from Harrisons). Hopefully this will all be happening in June, though no dates are confirmed yet. Then next summer, there will be both cattle and ponies heading over to Burwell Fen. Also in the meantime, some kind of crossing will (hopefully) be built across Harrisons Drove, giving the animals access from bakers to harrisons and joining those 2 areas together.
So a lot will be changing with the animals soon, so if you notice changes in numbers of herds around the fen, then that's why! Thanks for reading.