Wednesday, 30 April 2014

Poetry Day = and missing something!

This afternoon was our monthly Poetry afternoon, as usual one of my favourite afternoons of the month.   Today there were nine of us and we read a wide variety of Poetry and Prose - such a lovely relaxation.   I always come home feeling refreshed after it.   So thank you W for hosting it in your conservatory each month.

Whilst I was out the Freeze-branding man came to freeze-brand the last few remaining cows before they go out.   Once they are out in the fields for the Summer (all the cows we have here are pregnant, so will go outside to await their big days) it is not so easy to catch them individually, so it is best to do the job before they go.

The farmer promised to get me a couple of photographs.  The one of the black and white Holstein cow in the crush is of the cow actually being freeze=branded.   It doesn't hurt at all and literally freezes a number on to the rump/rear end of the beast, which turns the hair white.  For a while the number is only faint, but after a time it shows up like the one the farmer has photographed on the brown and white Holstein. (Here is one he did earlier!)

Why do they need freeze-branding when they already have indentifying ear tags?   Well, when you think about it, when they are in the milking parlour they are given a ration of pelleted food to eat.   This ration is different depending upon the state of each individual cow - pregnancy, lactation, drying off - and the view which helps the man milking to give the ration correctly is obviously the rear end when they are standing at the milking machines.   Hence the number on the rear.

Very dull and slightly rainy this evening.   Set to get colder up here in the North over the next two days.  There is a major Food Festival in our little market town over the Bank Holiday week-end, so I do hope it is not typical bank holiday weather, because they get thousands of visitors and that brings a lot of trade to the area.


14 comments:

Heather said...

I think the weather should be fine over the weekend - just colder - so hopefully the food fair will be well attended. Thank the farmer for taking the photos of the cows - it is always interesting to learn these snippets of how the modern farm works. I have no connections with farming but love Countryfile for the farming bits. I thought of you last Sunday when the programme featured the Leyburn Brass Band. As they were in the Dales I assume it was 'your' Leyburn.

Julie Clay Illustration said...

I find it all fascinating too, it amazes me what goes on on a farm, and I usually watch Adam on country file each week like the previous commenter. I'm liking your owl activity too :)

Willow said...

Your monthly poetry and prose does sound like wonderful and relaxing time.

angryparsnip said...

I really enjoy reading the everyday going on the farm.

The Square Ones send woofs to Tess.
cheers, parsnip

Terra said...

I like your poetry monthly gathering. Do people read what they wrote, or poems and prose they like?
I hope the government isn't getting too involved in tracking cows. It makes sense so you can tailor their feed to each cow tho.

Cro Magnon said...

There must be great possibilities for 'freeze branding'. Has the farmer considered selling advertising space on the side of his cows? I sure Tesco would pay handsomely for a walking billboard!!!

The Weaver of Grass said...

Clever idea Cro, although Holsteins are so very bony that any advertising hoarding would be very wobbly.

The Weaver of Grass said...

Yes Heather - the band was indeed from 'our' Leyburn - we know many of the players - quite a feather in their cap to play on TV. Where they played - at Hardraw Force - there is a Brass Band Contest every year - and it is taken very seriously.

Dartford Warbler said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Maureen @ Josephina Ballerina said...

Pat, I very much enjoy going along with you through your days of this and that. I'm learning a lot I never knew about farming between you and Barbara over at Homestead Hill.
Happy May Day -even a cold and wet one. This is our third day of very heavy rain. Flash flooding all around. Thankfully, we live on a hill.

John "By Stargoose And Hanglands" said...

From poetry to a cow's bum - you certainly give us variety!

Reader Wil said...

Thanks Pat for the posts about farming, because this is important for everybody in order to understand how hard farmers have to work to supply the world with our daily food.
Have a great day!
Wil, ABCW Team

Linda said...

I told this to Terry and like me we found the freeze branding very interesting. Does it just freeze the hair or go clear to the skin?

Linda
http://coloradofarmlife.wordpress.com

Weekend-Windup said...

You have a wonderful relaxing time! It will be a wonderful time working in farms!