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Time for a change.... Welcome to Otway Fields' new Blog!

If you have been one of my regular blog followers over on my Blogspot page, Living this Life, I hope you'll continue to check in to my new blog. I've decided to make my life a little less complicated, and have added a blog to my new Otway Fields website. So, unfortunately, that lovely old blog is going to just sit and languish where it is.

But... you'll find a treasure trove of new material coming your way. Just hang tight!

No doubt by now you'll get the idea that we're pretty keen on keeping our food miles low, bartering with friends and neigbours as well as supporting local producers. So I'll be bringing you plenty of snippets of local news from farmers, growers, food lovers and people who are making a difference to our food supplly.

I'm also going to share with you a backlog of stories that have featured in the Birregurra Mail over the past four years. You'll get to know us and follow our journey in becoming more attuned with this farming business. Let's just say, it's been an enormous learning curve, one that we're still climbing!

So to get this party started, here's your first peek into our little world, way back when we were very new to this journey!

Modern communication.

We take it for granted. Living in the Otways is picturesque and we love it, but it does have its drawbacks. We don’t enjoy cheap Internet data usage and our phone reception can be temperamental at times. And when it comes to watching the telly, well, we missed January and February, so no Australian Open! The cause was probably when a ladder bumped the satellite dish on the shed roof when someone, not saying who, was cleaning out gutters! But that was definitely not the reason!

There have been occasions where we have relied on information at our fingertips. Last year our youngest heifer gave birth to her first calf. It was a cold, rainy Sunday morning. We knew she was getting close to delivery, but being first time farm ‘parents’ we were still unsure of the signs. Our neighbour Graham popped around and told us that we should have a calf in a couple of hours. He’d just driven past our boundary line and spotted a leg hanging out the back end of the cow. We were super excited! We ‘hoofed’ it down to the very back paddock where the cow was sitting, then standing, sitting then standing. She was not very comfortable. She remained like this for some time and we started getting concerned for her. So Google to the rescue! I stood on the dam jetty while Frans trudged through the soggy paddock to the cow. Of course she had to pick the furthest point of the farm to labor in! I trawled the Internet on my iPhone, searching for ‘stages of birth in cows’ and anything that looked useful. I found pictures, forums and loads of information. Not all of it relevant or useful. When I did, I would shout to Frans at the bottom of the paddock ‘can you see the sack?’, to which he replied ‘what sack?’ It was clear that even with all the information at your fingertips, you still need to know what to look for! We knew we could not let her go on for much longer. We eventually got the cow up to the cattle yard and our neighbor delivered the baby calf very quickly. What an exciting day it was. We were still not done with the Internet however. We weren’t sure if all was well as the calf just lay on the ground for a couple of hours. Our fears were finally allayed when she got up and had her first drink. In the end, nature (with a little help from an experienced farmer), not the Internet, brought this event to a successful conclusion.

The past couple of days I’ve been trawling chicken sites, forums and blogs. One of our chooks looks constipated. I noticed she had a rather untidy back end and seemed to walk with her legs apart. Poor thing. How do I search for this problem? I’ve learned that you have to ask the right questions or you don’t find what you’re looking for. In my search I have found many descriptions to this condition. I was searching for help in all seriousness, but couldn’t help laughing at the crazy descriptions of this situation. One person’s Sweetie had a ‘pasty butt’, another a ‘poopy bum’. I’ve learned that a warm bath, cleaning the offending area and a ‘Squirt of Olive Oil Tunes a Hen Right U

p’. Let’s hope I found the correct answer!

Till next time, Google on!


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