Wednesday, 28 October 2009

What goes in.....................




Yes, folks, it is that time of the year again. I am afraid you cannot have a farm with animals without having the M word. It is some time since I brought up the subject of manure but it is time I reminded you of the smelly, down-side of farming!
At present the loose-housing has a good, deep, well-rotted floor of manure from the cattle which were in it last Winter. Oh how the farm cats love it. If you enlarge the photograph of the interior you will see Blackie lounging luxuriously, pretending to be asleep but really waiting for a little mouse to stroll past. You see, the big thing about well-rotted manure is that it is WARM!
Countless birds roost in there at night, as well as the small vermin - so that cats have a field day.
Our other farm cat (Creamy) - yes they are pretty unimaginative names - is half Siamese, is pale cream with the faintest of grey/tabby stripes. He may well be in that manure somewhere but he is well camouflaged. Also, as befits his parentage, he is very shy and not at all friendly (unlike Blackie who comes out to meet everyone).
Next week the farmer will hire a huge muck-spreader for the day and will begin early in the morning. He will spread it all on our pastures and by evening the housing will be empty and ready for a layer of sweet-smelling straw. Then, when the weather turns wet, the heifers from our neighbour can come in again for the winter. It is lovely to have cattle in the yard again. Our garage is next to their housing and they are curious creatures, so each time I get the car out they all come to say hello.
We are always late in the year spreading it. I rots well in situ - and the farmer likes the grass to be well eaten off before he spreads it. As the over-wintering sheep have now been here for about six weeks, the grass is nicely nibbled.

18 comments:

Golden West said...

I love your writings about life on the farm. And "seeing" the cows strolling over to greet you is a happy image, indeed!

Poet in Residence said...

The M word again - how time flies - it seems like only yesterday.

willow said...

Warm rotten manure. Sounds pretty stinky! We need some animals to nicely nibble our lawn at the manor. Always love to hear your farm happenings, Weaver.

Coastcard said...

How I miss those scenes and scents, Weaver, from my rural Norfolk childhood. I wonder how many times we woke up to find cows in the garden...

Derrick said...

Hello Weaver,

Well, I suppose I could have found a more fragrant post to catch up with you but ....! Although I haven't commented on them all individually, I have read them! Hope the muck spreading goes to plan. Do remember to wipe your feet, won't you?

jinksy said...

I'm almost waiting for Walter Gabriel to appear, after reading this post, let alone Dan or Doris Archer!

Bovey Belle said...

I've had Next Door's calves in my field several times this past week - they have managed to pull a weak bit of fence down and Next Door hasn't bothered mending it (why should he, he's getting free grazing?!)

As for the mucking out - in a shed that size, not a job to be done by hand! I used to have one of my loose boxes on deep litter over the winter, and when it was time for comeuppance on all those saved hours in the winter, you knew all about it!

Reader Wil said...

The work at a farm seems without end! Do you ever have time to go on a holiday? Yes I know you did this year, but you have to find probably somebody to look after your lifestock. I admire you and your husband.
Thanks for your visit and comment!

Lisa at Greenbow said...

This reminds me of the times when I visited my Grandparents and had to help muck out the stalls before I could ride the horses. Love that smell of a clean barn.

Heather said...

There's nothing wrong with manure Weaver, it's lovely stuff and we put it on the garden. Our cat was a great mouser in his youth and would have loved to live on your farm. He spends most of his time on the end of our bed these days having recently celebrated his 17th birthday, and is very spoilt.

Totalfeckineejit said...

Creamy is a cool name for a cat.I likes it!

Hildred and Charles said...

I'm not as familiar with cow manure, but sheep manure - now that's a real treasure!!

Pondside said...

I like the image of the curious cows looking for you when your car comes into the driveway!

Midlife Jobhunter said...

Fascinating life on your farm. Who would have thought a post on manure could be so enjoyable? Spread it!

Amy said...

so, how many mice did the cat get in the end?

Cloudia said...

Nicely nibbled!



Aloha, Friend


Comfort Spiral

The Weaver of Grass said...

Herewith Manure will not be mentioned again until the giant muck spreader is hired to throw it about the fields - then I shall not be able to resist taking a photograph for you all. I notice that the gardeners amongst you are all quite keen on the stuff. Thanks for your comments.

BT said...

Oh these are the stories I love about the farm. The muck spreading and how the farm works. We have cows in our next field at the moment (and in the garden the other evening) and I love their warmth.