Although we finally had a bit of sunshine for a couple of days, the rain is always just around the corner. The ground here is saturated. But no complaining, as we watch the devastation from the floods in the Lake District.
The cattle don’t seem to mind a bit of mud. The area around their feed rings is pretty messy. It was much worse before we brought in a few tons of stone and surfaced an area for the rings.
Feeding the cattle is always a muddy task. You are in and out of the tractor a least a half a dozen times for each bale. Opening the gate to get in the field, driving in, closing the gate, getting out to cut open the plastic bale wrap, getting back in to spear the bale, getting out to open the gate, getting out to close the gate, driving up to the ring and getting out to cut open the bale netting, back in to lower the bale into the feed ring….Maybe it’s ten times in and out. Once I dropped a bale into the feed ring and caught the head of a greedy cow. Very scary as I thought I had killed her. Screamed down the phone for help, then proceeded to yank and pull at the haylage crushing her. She was fine, whew, but I am ever so careful now to make sure no cow is sticking her head into the ring as the bale drops in.
Shurper, my lovely ram, appeared lame and I couldn’t see the cause. His foot was neat trimmed, his legs weren’t sore or swollen. The vet was very busy so instead of calling by, Shurper was delivered to the surgery! A quick examination and the problem was found. He had an infection in the top of his foot, an abscess or some such thing. Antibiotics prescribed and a clean dry shed recommended. So Shurper has spent the week in a little stall next to the calves. I have given him his daily injection into his rump, he is better and will be back in the field tomorrow. Next time I will examine the foot more thoroughly. Keeping livestock really is a learning experience every day.
Jo Stover has daily adventures on her small farm, together with her Highland cattle and Portland sheep, bees, a few hens, dogs, and some two-legged family and friends.