Clicking into place

Do you know those puzzles for pre schoolers, it is a flat board, they have wooden cut outs and the child has to fit the cut out, like a cow or something, into the hole of the same shape. Their little chubby hands wriggle and work at the shape and the hole until the shape is in the right position and with a satisfying click the cow drops into its cow shape and all is smooth and everything is in its rightful place.

It feels like that on the farm at the moment. Each winter fence is going up easily. I work alone and quickly. The animals watch me and accept their logical new pathways through the farm taking them from shelter to winter fields, with calm. Manu’s fence is finished, his new fence keeps the pigs off the newly sown fields sending him and Molly (soon) and Poppy (eventually) right to the back of their field for grazing.

In the winter I close most of the little fields so they can recover and avoid being nibbled into car parks. One field is nominated the sacrifice field this is where the cows will hang out for the whole winter fertilizing the field, nibbling and waiting for spring. Pastures are  getting low and I have begun to load the hay up in the tractor bucket and drive it down the back to feed the black and white herd twice a day.

I always feed the hay to the animals as far from their water as I can go, forcing them to walk about.  The hay is thrown down in small piles a cows length apart, cows poo when they eat (charming creatures) so we doon’t want them fouling the next pile of hay.

The two milk cows are still working by themselves, it is too much of a circus if I let them run with the others and then try to draft them out for milking every day. When they are dry they will join the others.

The Black and Tan Herd across on the West Side still have plenty of grass, probably enough for a couple of weeks or so – they only get a small amount of hay once a day so far. I HATE feeding out hay. I nibble around the edges of the piles pulling out old bits of hay – finding broken bales. I am always afraid of running out.

I have more cows than every before now.

One more fence to build today and then I am  done.

In the winter I like to travel so I work hard to create a farm system that is easy for others to manage. When the milk cows are dry and the piglets are grown, the feeder pigs are fattening and the breeder pigs are lolling about together, things are pretty simple to manage.  Even the chickens will stop laying soon as the days are shorter, they will get to roam free all day and take a break too.

I hope you have a lovely day.




29 Comments on “Clicking into place

    • Many is an adorable boar. So gentle .he has grown this summer especially across his chest and he has very thick shanks – like a Clydesdale but without the fluffy horse hair.

  1. Manu has become much more jowly (is that even a word?), and those clouds look like heavy harbingers of something 🙂 Laura

  2. I did not know hens stopped laying in winter. What do you do for eggs?
    Here, it is obviously not cold enough because they seem to continue laying. Not that I have chickens but that is what my neighbours tell me.

    • It really is to do with light. Chickens need a good 14 hours of daylight to create the egg. So when the daylight hours wane so do the eggs. Some will lay right through but not many. Our glory days of three dozen a day are over and I get about a dozen a day now. You can make them lay again by turning a light on at night but I like to give mine a wee rest. It is the natural way. Imagine if the egg producers did not light the battery hens, the whole land would have to eat less eggs in the winter. c

  3. I didn’t know that hens stopped laying when daylight decreases. Is that why some farmers leave lights on in the hen houses? Is houses the correct term? Goodness me, my ol’ brain is a bit mush today. Good morning, c.

  4. Wow! I didn’t know that about the chickens. I wonder what people did before there were endless supplies in grocery stores. I had always imagined pioneers braving the elements to get their winter chores done, one of which was gathering eggs.

    • gathering eggs here in the winter is a bit of a problem as the eggs freeze solid! In fact I might write a post for you about eggs. I think i wrote one before but I can’t remember what I called it. Stand by! It is fascinating!

  5. You’ve captured the light of the late afternoon sun….it’s so beautiful. Hope you have a lovely day too! ~ Mame 🙂

  6. Manu is handsome. Our eggs are dwindling here too. And my work is less now. It is a time of year to rest a bit for all, before we hunker down with different tasks and work for winter.

  7. During WWII my Mother stored eggs in an old bread crock containing a solution of water and isinglass. The crock being in the cool larder.

  8. I knew about the eggs being in shorter supply in winter so it leads to the understanding that supermarket eggs are from forced light in factories. Still trying to find local eggs here. They are pricey when you see them at the farmers market. Almost $2 a dozen higher. I’ll be doing my Christmas baking in the next couple weeks, then no more eggs. You have the most beautiful skies, not to mention a beautiful Manu. Or should I call him handsome? Have a lovely weekend. It feels better when it’s all locked down.

  9. I love the last photo, the colouring has an old master quality like a John Constable 😀

  10. Your skies are beautiful! I always love the sky…and the earth…and all those creatures who live upon the earth.


  11. Something else that has clicked for you today is the photography. Those shots are just fabulous, the light and the clouds and the late afternoon light all working together. The Farmy is settling for the winter.

  12. It is incredible to me how you have it all in your head and manage it. So good that you have had an extended autumn. We had an extended spring and it helped get extra things done. The farmy is looking good, beautiful photos, too. xx

  13. The photos today are wonderful. There sure is something special about the light in autumn, it’s more golden and clear. Lots of clear, cool days forecast this coming week so lots of lovely autumnal sunshine. Manu is a very handsome chap. Glad things are settling around the farmy.

  14. So much planning is needed always. I remember when you had a herd of one: Daisy. And now you have so many more animals to care for. It’s nice that there’s a period when things become simpler and you can take a break. Or should I say, that you create a period of simplicity.

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