This is my new blog to continue my journey with my Dales Ponies. It will also be the story of my building a new life for myself, alone now, except for my friends, horses and dogs, since my partner died in March 2009. We had lived and worked together, mostly twenty four hours a day, for nearly 28 years and I have never lived alone before. It is a tribute to my wonderful friends that I am still here, still sane(ish) and ready to re-invent myself. I love them all more than words can ever say and can never thank them enough for all they have done and are still doing. It is also a tribute to Alexandra Kurland and 'The Click That Teaches' that I know how to save myself now. To new beginnings.......

Saturday, 7 November 2009

Meet Pascoe and Son!

This is Pascoe, my new Aberdeen Angus bull. He is four years old and a bit of a steal, I think!!! He is a very impressive sight - not too tall but massively built and very well muscled. He is also very quiet, as bulls go. His owner is really sad to sell him and would like to buy a carbon copy but now has his daughters in the herd to get in calf, so Pascoe has to go, luckily for me. David would have been so proud to own this bull.

Vegetarians read no further because I am going to start selling home produced, single suckled, naturally reared Aberdeen Angus beef from the freezer. It's the only way I can even hope to make four suckler cows pay for themselves, let alone make a profit, which I hope they will this way.

To this end I'm keeping this years calves to finish myself but the oldest is only eleven months old and I am impatient to get started so I also bought one of Pascoe's sons, who is nineteen months old and almost ready. I am booking him in for January, which is the earliest they can do him as there is only one abattoir left around here. I have also found a very good place to cut and pack where hanging beef for three weeks is standard, and it's very difficult to find somewhere that will hang it for so long as it slows up their throughput. David used to do a bit of this before and everyone always raved about the meat so I have to make sure I can keep up that standard.

I had the choice of four steers and no expert opinion on hand so I relied on my sheep showing days and judged them as I would a sheep. When I told the seller which one I wanted he looked really crestfallen, as he'd said that they were all the same price, and said he should have known I'd pick the best one. I was really chuffed but made sure he checked the ear number so I'll know I get the right one!!!!

He then asked my advice about whether I thought his heifers were big enough to put in calf yet and I was really flattered to be asked!!!!

If all of this sounds really mean and heartless I can only say that they would all be going for meat anyway but this way they will avoid going through at least one and probably two cattle markets in the process, and go straight from their here to the abattoir. If I were one of them I know which I would choose!

This is my steer. I just have to arrange transport home now and try to find a cheap source of corn to fatten him on. I often used to feed the fatteners before so I hope I know what I'm doing!!!!

Dog Agility tomorrow! I will try and get some photos.


  1. He looks a fab boy ( not that I know much about bulls, except when I was a kid, and there was a charolais bull in with the cows in the fields I used to play in - had to keep a sharp look out for him!)

    And we know exactly where the beef has been

    ( Just don't tell Alex !! )

  2. Quite a handsome hunk! I am not a vegetarian, but I'd have trouble with eating someone I actually "knew." *sigh* I would never make a good farmer.

  3. Wow, what a TANK! :)

    I'm with Jean, I can't get too personal with my dinner. I'm a coward, I guess!

  4. What a farmer girl you are... A real Cow girl! What is a suckler cow? Not to worry with me, most of my friends are farmers or work for the meat industry which is very important here. Italians always assess horses as cattle for slaughter.

    I love your bull. I will print your photo to show my farmer friends, I am sure they are going to be impressed

  5. Thank you very much everyone.

    Muriel, a suckler cow is one kept just for rearing calves, as opposed to a dairy cow where the calf is usually removed from the cow and artificially reared.

    Hilary, do I take it that Alex is a veggie!!!!!!

    I phoned an old friend this morning who I haven't seen for a long time, about collecting Pascoe and son for me next week. He is a real old cattle man but makes his living from transporting horses so drives more considerately than most cattle transporters. I will be going with him and haven't seen him since long before David died, so we will have loads of time to catch up over the four hour round trip.

  6. Jean and Breathe, I used to be like that too but so much has changed about me that I'm a different person now, ready to face up to doing the things I would have left to David before. I'm finding great pride and satisfaction in doing them.

  7. And you go from vaulting to cattle....whew. I love the size of that boy. We put in beef every year. If SO's son does not have one; we purchase from an old farmer who raises steers for that purpose. He loves his cows and cannot farm anymore so the beef cattle keep him happy. I hope that venture goes well for you, too. The sad thought is sooner or later you will have to do the same with Pascoe umless you do not keep his daughters.