Thursday, 5 November 2015

All gone.

Earlier this week the very last of the beef cattle we have for the Summer went home.

Our farm, now that the farmer is semi-retired, is basically divided into three parts.   One part, Summer grass, is rented out to our neighbouring dairy farmer from April to October; another part, pasture, is rented out to our neighbouring beef cattle farmer and the third part we keep for silage, both to sell (first crop) and to keep for winter (second crop) when we house dairy cattle in calf for our neighbour. (and feed them)

Now apart from some sheep which we over-winter, all our fields are empty of stock.   The farmer is pleased about this because the land is very wet at the moment after days of thick, damp fog.   Some of the grass is very long and you could be forgiven for thinking it is a shame that the beast have not been able to eat if off before they go inside for the winter.   But the fact is that at this time of the year, although the grass grows well, there is very little nutriment in the grass and cattle left in the fields eating just grass begin to lose condition.

So there we are.  Empty fields.   Now next week the farmer can hire a very large 'muck spreader' for the day and empty the well rotted manure from our loose housing and make a heap in one of the vacated fields.  Then he will fill the loose housing with deep straw, clean out the water trough and get the whole place all ready for the day when our neighbour announces that he has some pregnant dairy cows ready to come in.

And so the cycle of the farming year goes on.

15 comments:

Derek Faulkner said...

Same here on the nature reserve that I daily keep on eye on in North Kent. The beef cattle and their calves were taken off two weeks ago. 70% of the adult cows have come to the end of their reproductive lives and have gone to market. Their calves will be weaned and the remaining pregnant cows will stay in the stock yards until April until they and their new calves return to the reserve.

Barbara Womack said...

There is something comforting about the predictability of the farming year.

angryparsnip said...

I really enjoy reading about your live on a farm.
Plus I love the photos of the cow coming over for the winter.
We are just starting our fall here and it has been raining for a day or so then sunny. More like our Winter weather.
I like the rain but I am missing our fall sunny days with cool evening.

cheers, parsnip

donna baker said...

The seasons do come and go which tells me all is right with the world.

Gwil W said...

Your cobwebbed header shows how the universe hangs together. Just imagine those as lines of electrical force, a force millions of times stronger than Einstein's gravity. The force that runs the sun. Our star. In the small we can discover the large.

Dawn McHugh said...

we have yet to venture into cattle, I should think its very quiet around your place at the moment, but not for long :-)

The Weaver of Grass said...

Gwil's comment on my header is real food for thought - so thank you for that Gwil.

Simon Douglas Thompson said...

Do you get waders or winter thrushes in your fields?

Terry and Linda said...

I love farm work...and I especially love work for cows. Although, we don't have any anymore.

Linda
http://coloradofarmlife.wordpress.com
https://coloradofarmlife.wordpress.com/sherlock-boomer

Heather said...

There is something very reassuring about the cycle of the seasons and of farm work. Although I know nothing about farming I enjoy hearing about it through your posts. I think I am far too sentimental over animals to have ever been a farmer's wife but am happy to eat meat as long as the deed has been done for me!

Pamela Terry and Edward said...

It sounds very peaceful to me.
Especially with the prospect of calves to come!
xo

Bovey Belle said...

Gwil - what a lovely thought. I am feeling very infinitesimal now! My worries are in perspective too.

Pat - we know when our farming year has turned the wheel when the cattle go into the barns over winter on 1st December (never earlier, though they sometimes come out before 1st March if it has been dry).

Rambler said...

Thank you for the insight into the farming year, especially regarding the animals. I now live on the edge of Bodmin Moor and I shall be interested to see if any of the animals are removed from the Moor to over-winter under cover. I suspect they won't - I've been on the Moor in all seasons and never noticed a lack of livestock - sheep, cattle and ponies.
Mind you, with today's thick fog, I didn't see any at all! Just rocks looming through the gloom as I walked my dog.

JoAnn ( Scene Through My Eyes) said...

It is interesting to learn farm things when one hasn't lived on a farm. I see the farmers' fields here and all that is going on - but never get a clear explanation because I don't know any of the farmers - they live quite a ways from our house in the city.

Linda Metcalf said...

And so it goes.....it seems you were just doing this very thing not that long ago. You could call this the "empty nest syndrome" :)