Thursday, July 14, 2011

How Not To Fix A Fence.

For the last few weeks I’ve been keeping an eye on one particular cow that has taken a fancy to sticking her head through the fence on the roadside to eat the longer grass. Well they do say, “The grass is always greener”.  I’ve been crossing my fingers she didn’t push right through and get on to the road. I did do a fence check and was surprised at how much fence has been bent and broken here and there. I’ve been doing a head count every day to make sure they are all still there in the paddock. With John being away and due back soon thank goodness, it’s only me on deck and I’m definitely no fencer. So it had to happen didn’t it, yes that’s right she got out. Luckily I just happened to look out of the window at the right time. There she was munching her way through the grass. I mean it’s not like there’s no grass in the paddock.

Oh yes a nice zigzag pattern there.
So I sprinted out the door and over to her all the while thinking please don’t let any cars come along and how am I going to get her back in by myself. I opened the gate and was just about to go around behind her when one of the locals came along and thankfully he helped me get her back in.  As it was she jumped straight through the fence in the exact spot where she had got out. Just as she got back in the School bus came along, wow that was close.  I then raced back to the shed to gather up anything I could get my hands on to try and temporarily fix the problem. What I grabbed was a bundle of rope and strapping. Right that’ll do fine I thought. Back I go to do some nice zigzag patterns along and through the wire on the fence. Every time a car came along I hung my head in complete embarrassment and wondered what they thought when they saw me doing this totally dodgy looking fencing job. So far it has served its purpose and has kept her in the paddock. A more permanent solution is on it’s way very soon.  Michelle.

Definately how not to fix a fence.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Oh Yeah. We love paddock life.

Prada jumping for joy.

You get a rush of happiness and warm fuzzy feelings to see your farm animals running free range in the paddocks enjoying life.  None of the horror of sow stalls, intensive farming or battery hens here. It always makes me sad to think of these practices still being carried out. 

Some of our Girls.

Our cattle have settled in very nicely they don’t have to move very far to get a feed there’s plenty of grass in the paddock. So far they’ve only been wandering around half the paddock they haven’t been right up to the top yet. It’s good to be able to look out of the kitchen windows and see them getting on with their daily business of eating resting eating resting etc.  These girls are some of the quietest cattle I’ve seen. I like to go and talk to them mostly every day. I sit down and wait for them to come up to me and they do one by one, they can’t resist coming over to look at me. Anyone arriving on the scene would probably wonder at this mad woman sitting down in a paddock having a one-way conversation with cows. We said all along we wanted something other than Black Angus cattle because all around us are either Angus or black and white Friesian/Holstein dairy cattle. A bit of variety is nice I think besides we do like the Hereford breed. I tell people jokingly we bought them because they are the colours of Queensland’s Footy team, go the mighty Maroons. 

The pigs following John to see what he's up to.

The pigs are happily bulldozing up the paddock during the day and still sleeping all in a row on their comfy straw bed at night. We got hold of some new pig feed recently, which they eat, with gusto. It’s a mix of grains, Cadbury chocolate and different coloured soft lollies that look suspiciously like lolly snakes cut up in bits. Oh my God it smells so good no wonder the pigs love it. When I’m feeding them I always feel like sticking my head in the container and chomping it all up. It’s quite a dry feed so we mix it with water. The first time we fed it to them we put it straight in their feed container dry and it flew everywhere when they breathed on it and the pigs were coughing and choking on it in their haste to get it eaten. It was a case of eat, run to get a drink, eat and run to get a drink. That’s when we realised it was way too dry a mix to give it to them like that. So now mixed with water it just slops into their feed container I have to be quick to get it in there because their heads get in the way and they end up wearing it.  They love nothing better than strolling around the paddock digging where they please and having a bit of a game with each other. Ahh yes that’s what I like to see more contented and satisfied animals. 

Our geese on the dam.

Now onto our feathered friends on the farm. The geese do their usual thing during the day they graze around the paddock interspersed with visits to the dam for a swim and a quick preen. They are all looking beautifully plump and in top condition and why wouldn’t they be with a whole paddock to graze in and some wheat at evening feed time. Our new females have finally learnt that wheat is good to eat they use to just look at the others eating it. Now they get in there and eat it quickly like the rest, if they don’t they will miss out.  The geese are funny to watch; their heads go a hundred miles an hour hoovering up the wheat. All you can hear is the rat-a-tat-tat of 15 beaks on the feed trays.  The chooks are enjoying their paddock life as well. Wandering around eating plenty of worms bugs and grass and next it’s off to have a dirt bath in the nicely ploughed up area.  Then there are three hens who like hanging with the pigs. I think they have cottoned on to the fact that the pigs root up the ground and that’s where they’ll find the nice juicy worms etc. or maybe they just want some porker company who knows. We still only have two hens laying I’m hoping the others will start soon although I think Winter is a bit of a down time for egg laying. Just the two laying seems to be enough eggs for us to handle at the moment anyway.    Michelle.

The chooks love to follow me around.