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.