Tales From the Field
Remember GCSE Biology and transects to find-out what insect are living in a field? In a non-scientific way I get a very good overview of the insect life in a field after topping it.
As the topper passes through the long grasses they are knocked on the top of it and a lot of the insects are left on the machine.
Several of our fields are accessed by a track which is also a stream so everyone gets their feet washed. Given the choice the adults walk on the side and only get wet when they have to.
The calves are more funny as they don’t know what to do and cluster at the waters edge. After they pluck up the courage they leap in lifting their tails like they were lifting their skirts.
Molly, the Bull-Cow
One of our Dexter cows, Molly seems to think that she is a Bull, and has even begun to look a little like one.
One of our policies is to allow animals of character or outstanding service to live out their natural lives to the best possible extent.
Whilst some may see this as a sentimental idea, those who are interested in animal behaviour will find much to be gained from this practise. We also see some of the oddities which nature can produce in animals which would normally have been culled.
The Dock-Plant/weed, friend to those just stung by a nettle and enemy to anyone trying to graze land or make grass crops. There are traditional chemical or mechanical methods to deal with them and we use the mechanical method of control; “topping”.
We are also now observing a naturally occurring biological control; the aptly named “dock-beetle” or Gastrophysa viridula.
Silk Covered Dung
The cattle barns are mucked out completely several times during the winter and the dung stacked on an outside dung store along with around a tractor bucket or two per day of daily cleanings. After the cows are turned out there is often not enough room to muck out the barns until the first load has been spread and so the muck in the barns is turned and stacked inside the barns.
In 2009 a unusual thing happened; the dung was completely covered in cobwebs from some very busy spiders.