Coughing calves 2/ Tesco

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The calves don’t seem to be any worse today in terms of coughing and runny noses and dare I say it they seem to look a little perkier. Fingers crossed.

I had a letter from our milk buyer Wiseman/Mueller/Tesco in this mornings post which I gingerly opened, fearing I’m not sure what, saying they wished to know how many Angus calves we are expecting to be born in the coming year. Tesco are paying a premium for us to use their chosen Aberdeen Angus bull to produce beef calves that they wish to be reared as part of their traceable food supply.

Understandably they wish to know how many calves are likely to be born in the new year, that will be reared for their sustainable supply chain.

Perhaps less understandably I haven’t got the faintest idea how many Angus calves will be produced. Firstly, most of the cows that have been served have not been diagnosed pregnant yet. Secondly, cows can abort mid pregnancy. Thirdly there will inevitably been the odd lost calf at birth and last and most importantly, its just plain bad Karma to predict such an amount of live animals so far in the future. Call me a pessimist or paranoid or whatever but predicting such an abundance of life so far in advance is surely like inviting the four horsemen of the apocalypse to wet the baby’s head.

Heaven knows, I wish life was so predictable but in agriculture disease and pestilence are just a stones throw away and have a habit of showing up when you least expect them. So for this reason alone I have to apologise to Tesco for my unfilled form and non compliance because to do so in my view would be ‘counting your chickens.’

Still I think Tesco’s is trying to do the right thing ┬ábut this is going to be a long and slow process for a business that demands instant results, I just hope they are patient enough to reap their harvest.


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