10 Interesting Facts about Farming Life


10 Interesting Facts about farming life in the calving shed at Potadoodle do, Berwick.


  • 1.  Well, the cattle are now heavily pregnant and lying around like beached whales. Their gestation period is the same as humans, i.e. a 9-month wait.  When you have over 100 cows to calve and all in the space of 6-8 weeks it can be a very busy and challenging time for Farmer John and his assistants – Dan and Ryan.
  • 2.  The cows can calve at any time day or night so it is 24/7 for John and Dan and I am not afraid to admit that tempers can get frayed due to lack of sleep – we quite often call him Grumpy John at this time of year!
  • 3.  To make the job a bit more bearable we have a 360-degree camera in the shed which is connected to a Monitor in the farm house so we can keep an eye on them all the time without the necessity to go out to the shed all the time. This is an essential bit of kit as far as we are concerned and we all get a bit tetchy if the camera goes on the blink!


  • 4.  We all watch the screen and every time a tail is swished we think there might be labour pain in the making. We can zoom in on the camera to have a good look and we can also get her tag number so we know who she is. They do all have names and we love every one of them!
  • 5.  We also have a “Moo call” which is a device that you put on the cows tail if you think she is close to giving birth. She might be a very special cow or one that cost an arm and a leg and the last thing you want is for her to lose her calf.  When she starts labour the Moo call sends a text to Farmer Dans phone and he is aware of the situation. When another hour of labour passes he gets another text and then he knows that she is definitely going to calf and can get prepared and keep a close eye on her.
  • 6.  When a calf is born it is very important that they get colostrum (their mothers first milk) within six hours of their birth to ensure they will survive. The sooner the better in fact and Farmer John, even if he is grumpy with lack of sleep, would never go to bed until he sees the calf getting a drink of milk from its mother.  In our house-animals comes first- always!  Now and again calves will need a topup feed until their mother’s milk is produced and, just like humans, Farmer John will mix up some powdered milk and put it in a bottle with a teat and feed the calf himself.


  • 7.  Life in the farming shed is full on at this time of year and Farmer John and his team can be busy all day looking after cows and calves and tending to their needs.
  • 8.  Farmer John and his team must make sure that the cow has a good diet so that she can produce milk for her young calf. This is an essential part of good husbandry in the maternity unit.
  • 9.  Once the calf is up and getting milk it will be transferred to the next shed where it will stay with other mothers until such time as they go out to the grass. This transfer involves the “Maternity COT” i.e. a large green wheelbarrow- the calf is put in the barrow and the mother follows on behind as Farmer Dan wheels it away down through the shed to their new home. They will still be monitored in this shed to ensure the calf is getting enough milk and to check the mother health too.
  • 10.  Before they go out to the field they all have to be given an identity tag. This can be a dangerous job as the mother does not want you to hurt her calf. Normally Farmer John will do this when the mother is getting some food and is slightly distracted but you still have to be vigilant. My job is to make sure everyone gets fed, gets lots of cups of tea when required and to try to keep everyone chipper!! It’s a long time to be kept so busy and tempers can fray so sometimes I do feel like a referee! However we all enjoy what we do and know it doesn’t last forever.  However there are lots of other things to do on the farm too- fertiliser needs to be put on when the weather is good and spraying might need to be done then I come along and put a spanner in the works and ask “when are my new wigwams going to be sited- I have a business to run”

If you would like to know more about Potadoodle do Glamping site and activities visit http://potadoodledo.com/accommodation/

NEW Video – See inside Potadoodle do site, Berwick upon tweed


September and October were two very busy months as we worked on our new video for Pot a Doodle Do.

Sky Vantage Productions owners, Ollie and Alice Cowgill headed the team and they regularly came to Pot a Doodle Do with cameras and drones with a view to getting some fantastic footage for the video.

There was a really nice family staying in the Grand Canyon Deluxe Wigwam (coincidentally called Cowgill too) and they very kindly agreed to be filmed for the video.

They were filmed as they entered the wigwam and then having Toast and Coffee for breakfast.We are very grateful to them for the time that they dedicated to our video.

Sarah Jane, our Art Studio Assistant was filmed painting a cappuccino cup and saucer and her grandson Freddie also assisted with the filming on the swing and slide in the play park.

To get filming of the BBQ hut we decided to have a fun night in there. Ollie filmed us all going into the hut and then John was filmed throwing a steak on the BBQ.  We all had a great night of fun and laughter, consumed some really well barbecued steaks and burgers –oh and a few glasses of prosecco and red wine to go with it!  Chris even gave us a song or two with his Ukulele .A great way to film the hut.

Our friend Chris who is a great fisherman, agreed to cast out on the fishing lake as the drone was overhead so that Ollie could get an aerial view of the lake.  We didn’t think the lake was so big until we saw it from the aerial view.

The footage then heads over the sand dunes to capture our beautiful beach at Cocklawburn and shows the waves splashing on the sand before finishing with a backdrop view of the farm.

We are truly grateful to Ollie and Alice at Sky Vantage Productions for the superb video they have put together for us and we hope that you enjoy it as much as we do.

‘Harvesting time’ at Pot-a-doodle do, Berwick


We are now in harvesting mode on the farm with Dan and Ryan combining the wheat and John drying the grain with his new drier.  The wheat is  then shipped off the farm to the Millars to make bread!



The straw will be baled and brought into the farm for bedding for the cattle in the winter.  Then Ryan will begin ploughing the land again in preparation for next years crops to go in.  It is all a bit of a race against time and the weather but they always get there in the end.  They will all need a well-earned break at the end of it all.

The new shed is going up and almost complete.  This is a necessity as we continue to expand the Aberdeen Angus herd at Borewell Angus.  Part of the shed will be used to store straw for the winter ahead and the other part will be a useful addition to the maternity unit when the cows come into the farm to calve in the spring.  We just seem to move from harvest mode into cattle mode.


Dan with the Aberdeen Angus herd at Borewell Angus

The calves born in April now need to be weaned from their mothers.  The mothers are due to have another calf in April so she needs a period of time to build up her strength and give all her goodness to the unborn calf.


Aberdeen angus cow and her calf

Dan is very busy working on a Nutrition Programme for the young cattle so that the young bulls all get the best rations they can in order that we produce top quality cattle for the reproduction of the Borewell Herd and, with a bit of luck, a champion bull for the future!

Please keep following our blog for more updates from around the site.

Pot-a-doodle do team x