Archive for the ‘Life on the Farm’ Category

A Summer in our Chalets!

Monday, December 1st, 2014

We have had so many wonderful guests this year and they wanted to share their amazing experiences and moments that they had on their holidays here in Dorset! It’s been an absolute pleasure to see so many families unwind on the farm and enjoy the beautiful countryside, we hope that more decide to spend their family holiday here next year in one of our charming, self-catering Scandinavian chalets.

Gary and his sons came to stay with us in the summer and his three sons desperately wanted to ride on a tractor. Gary managed to take some wonderful pictures of his boys in the tractor that my son Matt helped them drive. Gary’s eldest, Alex, did drive it with the help of Matt. His 2 other boys are Jack, 7yrs and Harry 4 yrs. We were able to make 3 boys very happy that day!

Take a quick look at some pictures below!

Boys in tractor 1Boys in tractor 2Boys in tractor 3


Boys in tractor 4Boys in tractor 5Boys in tractor 6


Julie came with her mother and her daughter during the summer and none of them could keep away from the farm! They came down every afternoon to help us with the calves and even nursed a very sick calf to full health! They absolutely loved the atmosphere here and when their holiday came to an end and they came to say goodbye, they all said it was their best holiday! Luckily Julie also managed to capture some beautiful photos during her stay here.

Have a look at some of them below!

Julies pics 1Julies pics 2Julies pics 3


Julies pics 4Julies pics 5Julies pics 6


The Stour Cross Farm Experience

Tuesday, November 12th, 2013

Guests of all ages relish the opportunity to get more from their Dorset chalet holiday than they first suspect.

We are often told by guests who choose to stay with us at Stour Cross Farm for their holiday, that the experience of meeting the farm animals is one of the highlights of their entire visit to Dorset.

Visitors of all ages can and often do take advantage of the opportunity to get very hands-on with the daily routines of the dairy farm that Dorset Chalet Holidays call home. Plenty of people have swapped their summer sandals for wellies and their lie-in for a dawn wake-up call – to experience for themselves what is involved in looking after a heard of dairy cows on a daily basis.  Not only have they taken the opportunity to watch the herd being milked but have helped out with hand-rearing the calves. This is quite a noisy, hectic routine where the newly-born calves blare impatiently for their afternoon feed.  The calves are fed by bottle from a day old and after a few days begin drinking milk from a bucket – like all hungry babies they can’t get enough of mother’s milk!

No one has yet managed to resist this charming experience of giving a helping hand to a new born calf. And we will never resist from actively encouraging it!


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Feathered Life

Tuesday, June 26th, 2012

I couldn’t resist photographing various birds around the farm

Nest full of young Swallows patiently waiting for feeding time So many mouths to feed










Feeding TimeA rare glimpse of mother feeding her young Swallows Baby Wagtail waiting for his feedBaby Wagtail waiting for his feed










A young Wagtail, one of two left from five eggs. Sadly not all survive. I stumbled upon this hen Pheasant sitting on her eggs.

Hen Pheasant sitting on eggs

Maize Silaging at Stour Cross Farm

Wednesday, October 6th, 2010
Robert, aged 8, standing amongst the maize before it is harvestedRobert, aged 8, standing amongst the maize before it is harvested

October 5th 2010

Having been advised by a maize specialist that the maize needed another week before cutting, our attentions turned to the weather forecast for the next few days.  No rain……please!!   Sadly it did rain but thankfully brightened up just a day or two before the contractor were due to arrive. It was a poor crop this year because there was little moisture for the maize to grow. Martin had to buy in more maize to compensate for the inadequate quantity this year. The last two years have produced some excellent maize forage but that was all down to the wet summers we had. This year, completely different, but from my point of view I was so pleased for my holiday guests that they could enjoy their weeks full of sunshine. Unfortunately one industry suffers whilst another gains.                                         

The maize should be twice the height of my 8 year old son Robert seen in the photo.                           

The contractor came with no less than six tractor drivers and trailers as the maize needed to be hauled from several miles away. 
One of the tractor drivers following the forage harvester around the headlandOne of the tractor drivers following the forage harvester around the headland
Tractors and trailers ready and waitingTractors and trailers ready and waiting

       Click on the youtube link below to view some of the maize silaging.

The video lasts approx 8 mins.  There are a few wobbly bits but Martin was driving at the time!!

Cow Calving at Stour Cross Farm

Wednesday, August 25th, 2010

I couldn’t resist the opportunity to video one of our mature cows calving her second twin calf. The first one was born only minutes before but unfortunately I missed the delivery. The calf was up on its feet shortly afterwards and I was mistaken to think that the calf belonged to the white cow you see in the video as the calf is of similar markings but it was later made obvious that it was the first of the twins. These are our fourth set of twins this year and all of them are doing fine. 

Click on the video link below and watch the wonders of nature. The video is about 8 mins long.

The second twin calf being born The second twin calf being born






Twins Born

Monday, August 9th, 2010

Martin decided to bring a cow, who was close to calving, into an empty barn as he thought she was having problems. We left her for an hour and then intervened with the help of a calving aid. Two male calves were born, our third set of twins this year.

Calf # 1 Aug 8th 2010Calf # 1 Aug 8th 2010

Calf # 2 Calf # 2 The mother immediately licks one calf at a time

The mother immediately licks one calf at a timeThe mother immediately licks one calf at a time

Introducing the calves to the bottleIntroducing the calves to the bottle

An empty wine bottle always comes in handy!An empty wine bottle always comes in handy!

The mother has been taken away to be milked and her milk is saved in a separate vessel. It is vital all calves drink their mothers first milk called colostrum which contains all its nutrients in a very concentrated low-volume form. This is where I come in!!!

It doesn’t take long before the calves are up on their feet and gurzling the milk. I find a empty wine bottle with a rubber calf teat on the end does the trick. Tomorrow they will be moved in another barn where some other calves are being hand reared.






The smallest of the twins born taking her afternoon milk.The smallest of the twins born taking her afternoon milk.











August 26th and the twins are growing. The photo above shows the smallest of the two taking her afternoon milk along with her brother and three other calves. She is still quite small but stands her ground when it comes to feeding time.

Barn is Gutted at Stour Cross Farm

Wednesday, July 14th, 2010
Right side of barn showing mini slew with pecker to break up concreteRight side of barn showing mini slew with pecker to break up concrete
Left side of barn. Cubicles down left are intact
Left side of barn. Cubicles down left are intact

Our main wooden cow barn at Stour Cross Farm, which is nearly 30 years old, is now being revamped. The cubicle’s have been dismantled and the base that the cows lie on has gone.

Middle section of barnMiddle section of barn

The reason for this facelift is that Martin had bought a tractor that won’t fit down the aisle’s of the cubicles so major adjustments were needed. Four lines of cubicles had to be dismantled and moved over by a couple of feet. Concrete and chalk were pecked out and the wooden dividers kept to one side.

Once all lines have been removed the work will begin to make the bases again.


Friday, May 21st, 2010

A tense week whilst attentions are fixed on all weather forcasts. Needing just a few days of  warm sunshine the decision was made. Everything in farming hinges on the right weather conditions whether rain is needed to make the grass grow or sun to make the winter feed. No wonder farmers are always moaning about the weather.

 Our first cut of silage went really well, no stressy husband, punctual workforce and the sun shone. It was glorious.