I am now working on the assumption that my heifers are pregnant. It is still too soon to have them properly tested, but there have been no signs of hormonal “bulling” for several weeks, and Dominic the bull has taken a noticeable step back from proceedings.
Dominic has produced many fine offspring in his life, so there is no real reason to doubt that calves are now on their way. The time is right to find a new home for the fine young beltie bull, and the process has been accelerated by the fact that he now seems to be losing a good deal of weight and condition. I understand that this is only normal for bulls in his situation, but there has been a noticeable shift from his original “muscular curves” to a kind of fighting-fit angularity. There is no doubt that he is a very fine animal, and he belongs with somebody who can keep him in a style befitting his status; it would be disappointing to see him drop any further out of condition.
This summer’s work with bulls has provided me with a very steep learning curve. Looking to the future with the knowledge of a riggit bull on the way, it is clear that I will have to “raise my game” if I intend to keep a bull properly. I don’t think I have over-reached and I have the capacity to expand and develop my operations, but it is clear that you cannot simply “dabble” with breeding stock – it’s a major commitment and needs to be done properly. Part of me recoils from this next level of engagement, but another part says “bring it on”…
The annual belted galloway sale takes place at Wallets Marts in Castle Douglas in two weeks. The sale catalogue was closed over a month ago, so I missed the chance to list Dominic and see him sold through the ring. I have listed him for sale privately, and I hope that as the belted galloway world descends upon Castle Douglas, one or two interested parties may also be tempted to travel another five miles for a look at Dominic. There is a great deal to play for, and the process is guaranteed to be fun and informative.
In the meantime, I cannot quite overlook the fact that this moment represents a significant departure from belted galloways. I’ve written at length on this blog about my increasing focus on riggits, but as I start to move away from the famous “belties”, I’m quietly confident about the fact that my future has a stripe down its back.
I would be very grateful if any readers of this blog could spread the word regarding this sale. My small herd is always open to visitors, and I would welcome any interested parties if they wanted to come and see the “man of the hour”.