Saturday, 10 November 2012

Down on the farm.

Here on the farm there is a raw North easterly wind blowing.  The sun is shining but it is pale and watery.   Because I have a visitor coming to stay next week, I have done the week's washing today and have just been out to fasten it onto the washing line, so I have put the kettle on to make a cup of coffee and am writing this while the kettle boils.

Most of our animals (other than sheep, of course, who would absolutely hate to be inside - they are bred for the hills and dales) are inside now.   Three pedigree British Blue cattle (a relation of the Belgian Blue) still spend their days eating the grass in the paddock, supplemented by a bale of silage, which they eat eagerly.   They will be going home shortly.   We no longer have cattle of our own, but have them for other people over the Summer months.

The milking herd belonging to our friend and neighbour have also gone in and those in calf spend their waiting time in our loose housing.   In deep straw they look so content and comfortable and they have a plentiful supply of silage whenever they choose to eat it, and a new salt lick as soon as the old one wears down.

But the sheep continue to roam throughout our fields, wherever they wish to go - they have to be well fenced in as these are sheep from the tops of the fells and are used to roaming at will.   Occasionally they find a way out and wander off into adjoining fields, but as we all watch out for one another round here, they are soon rounded up and brought home.

But one animal - loved by me and hated by the farmer - is out in the open and enjoying the grass.   They have even - shock, horror - found their way on to the lawn where the bird feeders are and have discovered a liking for fallen sunflower hearts.   Yes - it is, of course, the rabbit.   I managed to catch one on camera this morning just before the farmer had time to bang on the window and scare it away.   They are such pretty animals - but did you know that ten rabbits eat about the same amount of grass as one cow?   You can see why the farmer is not over-thrilled when he sees a rabbit warren in the hedge of the pasture! 

Have a nice week-end.  


Robin Mac said...

I am afraid I am with the farmer on the subject of rabbits! Their warrens have caused awful devastation in many parts of Australia. It is a sweet photo though! Cheers

Mary @ Colony Mountain Stitcheries said...

Rabbits fascinate me too, but they have a hard time of it around here because of coyotes. Interesting to read about your livestock, the feeding and housing.

Heather said...

I had no idea that rabbits were such little greedy guts! No wonder farmers don't welcome them. The sun is shining brightly at the moment but I got so wet this morning I had to change my trousers when I got home!

angryparsnip said...

I understand what the farmer is saying but I love the rabbits.
When my daughter was very young all she wanted for Christmas was a bunny. A white one (no red eyes thank goodness) and somehow Santa found one for her and she loved that rabbit.
As I look out my studio window I always watch the crazy antics of the rabbits who live around my home.

cheers, parsnip

Crafty Green Poet said...

Well as you know I love rabbits but I can understand why farmers might not feel the same!


Cute little thing ... even cuter in a pie!
I was a farmers wife and know all too well the devestation they can cause unchecked.

Vicky x

MorningAJ said...

There's good eating on a bunny! (Not sure whether 10 equal a cow though!)

Granny Sue said...

I liked the image of you drinking coffee before going out to hang the wash, Pat. It felt like you were right next door.

Helsie said...

Those darned rabbits that some home sick fool brought to Australia caused absolute devestation.... We hate them here for the damage they do and there is a constant battle to try to keep the numbers down. We don't have grass anywhere that is plentiful enough to share with them.
PS. they are kind of cute though aren't they?... and I don't mind them to eat either.(if someone else does the killing and preparation !!)

Leanne said...

My sis has allsorts of rabbit problems on her smallholding, not just outside, but indoors too as her cat insists on bringing baby bunnies through the catflap!

Leanne x