By the barn November
Posted: 1st Nov 2017
The days are dramatically curtailed now (or so it seems to me) and the urge to cut working hours shorter and draw close to the fireside is much stronger.
However, it’s a busy month, as livestock are inside, or due to come in soon and those that are out need feeding if grass has run short and those that are in already need caring for.
On blue sky/ sunny days the cattle, housed in the modern style sheds, sunbathe contentedly, chewing their cud and the air is fresh, as the sheds are well ventilated.
We shut them back, for safety, with metal gates, when we are scraping out and bedding. It is so much easier to use machinery to speed up the process and bigger farms will have feeder wagons and, maybe straw choppers that chop and blow the straw to the back of the pens.
Old,traditional buildings can be dark and confined- not so airy and not quite so safe for handling/ mucking out etc, but they have their place in the countryside.
Brick barns and sheds often have cosy crevices and nooks and crannies where bats and owls can roost and shelter from the cold . In our old buildings we have Long eared bats and their wings are made out of a soft,elastic membrane of skin stretched over the skeleton of their arms and legs. Because of this they they find it easier to roost upside down, hanging from laths, wrapping their wings around themselves when they’re asleep. They are long lived as a rule and return to the same sites at the same times, year after year.
Although it’s lovely to see old barns and buildings converted( and this can be crucial to profitability of a business- with the knock on effect of a thriving rural economy), it can deprive such animals of habitat, necessary to their population continuity.
Swallows and House martens need such habitat too and provision ought to be made when building new or converting.
Few plants are flowering now,around the yards, depending on the recent weather.
Our woods have been spectacular with the colours of the turning leaves, banks of which collect in the corners of the yards,where they have been blown with the gales.
With tupping well underway now, we just have to move sheep around so that they have enough to eat. This gives Ted plenty of exercise and plenty of work- collies need to keep their brains and bodies active! His colleague,Pip, unless on a lead, does her utmost to thwart him at every opportunity and is getting very adept at avoiding capture.
Posted by: Angela