Calving – Live!

New born lambs steal the limelight, as well as our hearts, in spring. But sheep aren’t the only breeds giving birth at the Farm Park at this time of year. Now that Easter is behind us we’re in to the calving season as our pregnant rare and native breed cows take centre stage. We have six expectant mothers this April; two Highland cows, two White Parks, a Belted Galloway and a Gloucester. They’re all beautiful British breeds which are easy to recognise and always popular with the public.

Just like the lambing demonstrations, we’re hoping that at least some of the cows will give birth during the day in our new Animal Barn so that visitors can see the miracle of new life for themselves. The well-being of the animals is the number one priority and while most of the time calving is a pretty easy process, occasionally a cow will have difficulty and that’s when human intervention is required. There was a really good example on my recent Channel 5 series ‘Springtime on the Farm’.  When one of Mike Powley’s animals stopped pushing during labour on his farm in Yorkshire, he quickly got to work with a set of calving ropes (and a lot of muscle) to help her deliver safely. And all on primetime TV!

It’s the perfect moment to be thinking about cattle and their important place in our food and farming industry because Great British Beef Week starts on 23rd April. It’s no co-incidence that the annual promotion begins on St George’s Day with all its associations with the ‘roast beef of old England’. This year the campaign is focusing on the benefits of eating thin cuts, which are widely available in the shops these days and are ideal for healthy, tasty midweek meals.  There are all sorts of fun and informative events taking place during the week-long celebration to give beef farmers and the whole sector a much needed boost. Here at the Cotswold Farm Park we’re proud to lend our support and wave the flag for British beef.