Saturday, 23 October 2010

The Last Time, this Year.

Old tyres have to be one of the things I hate most, I dont think I ever thought about them before I got involved in farming, but now I hate them, and I must move hundreds every year.
We use them to hold the silage sheets down ontop of the silage clamps. Silage forms the main part of our cows diet during the winter when there is no grass growth in the UK. It is basically grass or other chopped herbage that is pickled in its own juice, for the spods it is anaerobic fermentation, that is without oxygen.
We dont make it all at once but throughout the growing season, and eachtime all the protective plastic sheets have to be rolled up and removed, another layer of grass added, rolled down to squeeze as much air out as possible and all the sheets replaced, followed by the dreaded tyres. These are full of rain water, dirt and the odd chunk of mouldy silage and are heavy, I dress up in waterproof trousers and top whatever the weather as even if the day is hot and sunny you get showered with dirty smelly water each time they hit the ground. Most importantly big gloves as the tyres also have sharp bits and occasionally a rat hiding in them!

This was one of our clamps today after we cut the last 10 acres of Lucerne yesterday and added it to the clamp, we finished putting tyres back on at 9pm as the contracters had been delayed with a sick cow at home, and didnt arrive till 6ish. It needs more tyres but we decided that we needed to eat and go to bed more, it has rained all day today so it may be tomorrows job.
This is the other clamp, you can see where we have already started to feed some of it, the cows are still out but will be stopping in at night soon.
This clamp doesnt need as many tyres as we have gravel bags and a better type of netting over it, when we have some spare money we will get more but tyres last forever and my labour is free!

Friday, 15 October 2010

Men are from Mars?

Since we have had such gorgeous weather this last week, I have worked my way round the house changing all the beds and towels, I try to do this when the drying conditions outside are good as we dont have a tumble dryer and it takes much longer on the airer.
I noticed that my husbands bath towel is completely worn out and actually falling to pieces, wheras mine, bought at the same time from the same shop and just a shade different in colour, is still fine.
We have the same number of showers, and they are always washed together and dried together, so why does his towel wear out ages before mine?
I suggested to him that he must rub harder than I do to dry himself and could he be more gentle on the towels!!! Needless to say this got a look of amazement.
I suppose I should rotate the towels taking turns to have each one to wear them out more evenly, but he has always used the darker shade, so I will probably just buy another dark one for him and carry on with mine.
Men are truly different from us, they just look similar on the outside.

Friday, 8 October 2010

Wish List

While we were in France this summer we finally went to explore the Ile de Noirmoutier, which is at the northern end of the Vendee and is reached by a big bridge or a causeway, we had a lovely time, picniced on a rocky beach, discovered that F is terrified of Limpets, but not what is so scary about them.

While we were mooching along a marina sampling the local ice creams we passed by a cafe with some gorgeous chairs outside. The style and the range of colours just called to me and I took a picture to remind me of them in case I was ever looking for some.

Much to Richards relief I spared everyone the embarrassment of me going over and looking for a manufacturers mark, I have a history of this sort of thing, and that was the end of that.

Till last week when I was looking through a magazine and saw the very same chairs pictured on the terrace of a house in Sweden, the article said the chairs were made by Fermob, a French company and widely available.

These can go on my wish list for when we have plenty of spare money......... unlikly ever to happen but till then I can look at the picture.

Tuesday, 5 October 2010

Bad Girl

Occasionally we get a heifer that gets into the habit of helping herself to some milk from another cow, we take calves away from their mothers at 24hrs old and rear them in groups with milk from buckets with teats on.

Most of the time they drink the milk, are weaned at 12 weeks and never have any interest in milk again.

Currently we have two heifers who still take milk from any cow who will stand still for them and this is bad for the cow being milked, bad for the rumen of the cow drinking the milk and bad for us because the milk is not going on the tanker.

The only way to stop it is to fit the sucker with a spikey nose ring so that when she is "making up" to her milk supplier the spikes hurt the cows udder and she wont let the other cow suck. Its unfair but it has to be done. It doesnt hurt the cow wearing it as it is only tightened to hold it in place and doesnt pinch or break the skin, mind you they do spend a while trying to shake it off and when they get kicked by the cows they spike it hurts.

It is very effective and now we have one heifer in the milkers wearing one and one heifer in a mixed group of dry cows and young stock wearing one.

Nice colour eh?