Wednesday, 19 February 2014

Spring cleaning.

Well, let's face it, it might only be showing faint signs of Spring but at least it is a dry day and really the cattle could not trample about in deep mess any longer, so today's the day, come what may.

The farmer went across to our opposite neighbouring farmer, G, to borrow his big, deep trailer (that's the good thing about farmers, they are all quite happy to share any bit of equipment), and set about cleaning out the loose housing.
The first thing to do was to persuade the cows to stay put inside while he cleaned them out.   There are forty or so in there, so he needs to be persuasive.   Once they had realised that there was no way they were going to pastures new they were happy to get back to what they do best - the serious business of eating silage.

Now all that was necessary was to use one tractor and digger to scoop up large dollops of manure and put them into the back of the trailer.  Once it was full it had to be transported to the pile in one of the pastures, there to rot down ready for spreading.
I nipped round the back of the trailer during the brief interval between digging up and loading up, so that you could see the stuff.   O K, I know it isn't the most exciting photograph you have ever seen, unless, that is, you are a keen gardenerin which case you may view it with envy.   I must say that it is one farmyard smell I don't really object to - it is always a good, healthy smell.   The only time it is unpleasant is when you pass a cattle farmer who has come to our Friday market without changing his wellies (and believe me that is not at all uncommon).


While in the process of borrowing the trailer the farmer discovered that friend G has lost two calves this week.   He has a large suckler herd and two calves have been lost during the calving process.   This is always distressing, both for the cow and also for the farmer - it is after all his livelihood.   Luckily a cow had also had twins so he is now in the process of persuading one of the bereaved cows to take on another calf.  I hope it works - it doesn;t always, but when it does it is a lucky ending for all concerned.

On another sad note, my son and his wife have lost their old cat this week.   He was a lovely cat and really didn't look sixteen years old.  He has had a long and happy life but sadly developed liver failure.  We are all very sad - and I am sure that their other cat, Sinbad, will also be missing his friend and playmate.

13 comments:

Lucy Corrander at Loose and Leafy said...

I'm wondering if the very public trials farmers are having this year will encourage more people to wonder where our food comes from.
Wondering if you would be interested in joining us to follow a tree this year.
http://looseandleafy.blogspot.co.uk/p/what-is-tree-following-and-list-of-tree.html
(Apologies if I've already asked. I trip over myself at times.)

John Gray said...

I have been spring cleaning the garden pat.....
Once started you can't stop

Gwil W said...

Won't be long now. Spring is only about 20 minutes away.

MorningAJ said...

Sixteen is not really old for a cat, but once the liver starts to go there's nothing to be done about it. Our Barney was only 17, but he had a poorly heart, bless him. Sympathy.

A said...

It's hard to think of spring cleaning when it's still so cold out!

Heather said...

I always thought of myself as a 'dog person' but when our old cat died at a similar age to your son's, I felt quite bereft and send him and his family my condolences. Family pets are so much more than just animals.
I wouldn't mind a barrowload or two of that good stuff for my garden. I hope the cows are appreciative of their nice clean housing.

angryparsnip said...

I love this "everyday" kind of post. It shows us what farmers have to do every day of the year.
So sad to hear about your Son and Wife's cat. Is this the one who walked down the street with you both on a walk ?
Both my Square Ones have massive health problems that every day I look at them I am so happy with their company.

cheers, parsnip

Dartford Warbler said...

The joys of mucking out and piling up the muck heap! Definitely a good country smell unless it gets walked indoors by mistake......

Sorry about your son`s dear old cat. Maybe Sinbad would accept a young lady cat to take the place of his friend? That has worked with us in the past.

Terry and Linda said...

I'm so ready for spring....................ready. As you are.

Linda
http://coloradofarmlife.wordpress.com

Bovey Belle said...

So sorry about your son's cat, and I hope they will consider perhaps rehoming one in need to keep Sinbad company. We have a pack of them, which arrive regularly along our valley, seeking sustenance and for the first time in their lives, a little affection too.

As for the mucking out, a job well done, and I am surprised that the cattle were biddable enough to stay and eat their grub (beautifully-made, I might add!) I had imagined them shooting out the door and larking round the yard thinking they were going out onto pasture!

John "By Stargoose And Hanglands" said...

What with that and the slurry spreading you must have a very clear head today.

Pam said...

I've always been a very keen gardener and do get a great sense of satisfaction with soil conditioning using good compost.
My dear husband, when we lived in the country, undertook the back-breaking task of shovelling a trailer load of aged sheep manure from underneath the shearing sheds for my garden (as a surprise, um, gift??) I was so appreciative -can imagine many women would turn their nose up literally but I thought his efforts were wonderful, not being a gardener himself, and yes, your photo does make me jealous! The garden thrived.
Sorry to hear about the cat. I love mine to pieces.
Enjoyed your photos Pat.

The Weaver of Grass said...

Still cleaning out this morning but the wind is in the other direction so no smell in the house. Thanks for calling and thanks for the sympathy for the cat - I shall pass on your comments.