Thursday, 22 April 2010

Beautiful Feet

Our cows are hard working ladies and given that they are not exactly size zero, their feet suffer, they get overgrown and the hooves curl up at the front like arabian slippers.
Cows have cloven hooves like sheep and goats, and sometimes they get infections between the two digits.
Both these things cause pain and a sore cow is not a happy cow, she just wants to sit down and not visit the manger and eat, no eating and drinking means no milk then we also become sad.

Richard sorts out foot problems as we go, but once a year we get the Foot trimmer to come and go through all those in the herd that need a bit of tidying up. Its very impressive, he has a specialised trimming crush which is the size of a cattle trailer, it holds the cow securely so she cant damage herself or the operator. It has motorised winches to lift each of the cows feet in turn and hold them while he trims the hoof with a knife then finishes with an angle grinder, think emery board for cows. They don't get nail varnish but if they have an interdigital infection they get purple foot spray!

After a few cows it looks like it has snowed with all the trimmings scattered around. Afterwards the cows mince about as if wearing the wrong size shoes, but by the next day they are walking much better.

Spring has been very late here, and even now we don't have much grass as the soil is still too cold. However the cows are out, and very happy to have grass to eat and sun on their backs.

The hedges are just coming into leaf and the Damson trees have blossom, the apples and plums have swelling buds but no more and since we are still getting night frosts I hope they hold off a bit longer.

The daffs were all very late but they we had a fantastic display as they all seemed to come at once, I have been driving past these on the village green while doing the school run for a couple of weeks and only yesterday stopped to take a picture, they are past their best but still lovely.

We are working up to bringing the sheep home to lamb next week, the field is now sheep proof, I have to make some notices warning dog walkers to be extra careful as there is a public footpath across the field.

The children are filled with excitement and if they don't get an orphan or rejected lamb to look after I think they plan to kidnap one.

Richard and I are worried as it's all new to us. ETA is the 8th may but probably from the 1st onwards........

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