Tuesday 17th January 2017

Feeding the cows
As calving approaches (rather fast...), we are feeding the cows with a little bit of hard feed each day now: in the photo, Sage and her calf are demonstrating how well they can share – although it is not always like this.
As with the sheep and goats, the majority of the foetal growth occurs at the end of the gestation period: for sheep and goats 70% takes place in the last six weeks, for cows 75% occurs in the final trimester (i.e. the last three months). Parsley is due first on 7th April which is just over two and a half months away. She is in fact looking a little thin on her back so having consulted with the vet, we began daily feeding a week or so ago and we are making sure that Parsley has more than her fair share. We are lucky that she is the dominant cow as it means she won’t allow any of the others to steal from her. We therefore make sure her trugg has the biggest ration, in the certain knowledge SHE will eat most of it. She will allow her calf to share, just a little bit!!
Relaxed at Home
We do have to be careful when we feed them as they are VERY keen on their pellets and a fair bit of pushing and shoving takes place as the truggs are all checked to make sure nothing is left! Whilst we are reasonably confident that we won’t get deliberately pushed, it could be all too easy to ‘get in the way’ as one cow shoves another: and two to three hundred kilos of moving cow is quite a force. As the cows eat, we clear away cow pats and fluff up the straw in their shelters but we make sure we are always aware where each cow is and what they are doing. As soon as the feed is finished, we remove the truggs and encourage the slightly calmer activity of eating hay by topping up the racks!!
Another load of woodchip was delivered yesterday so we hope now to get the Cow Pad topped up a little. Whether we get it done before or after all the other zillion jobs we have to do, remains to be seen. We did get the poultry run netting finished today, we now just need to sure the run is escape proof and then get woodchip down on the bottom – hopefully tomorrow we can get this one ticked off our list!!!