Every morning I ask my other half – what are you doing today?
When we first got together he would say ‘Going to check the animals’ and I thought it was just a cop-out so he could just drive round the fields and not really do a lot. It’s only know I have learned more that I understand how important a job this is.
If you can drive round all the animals and be home for a cup of tea without having to do anything more, it has been a good morning.
The fields where we live are spread out so he has to drive to different locations to check on the animals. When he is their he does several things:
- check the level of grass left in the field- if the animals have eaten out (eaten all the grass) then they will need to be moved to new pastures
- check fencing- its important nothing can escape and he has to check there are no weak spots of any areas the animals could get through
- check the water troughs- the fields all have water troughs or water bowser (like a giant water bottle) and he has to ensure they are filling up correctly and have enough water for all the animals
- check the health of the animals- look through the animals to see any that may be limping, have cuts that could get infected, bad eyes, if any animal just looks under the weather or has any other health issues
Depending on the time of year he also has to:
- lambs- check their weight to see if any are ready to be sent off
- cows- when the cows are in calf any that look close to calving are bought back to the farm encase there are any birthing problems
- feed- depending on the timing of the year and animal some need feeding. This can be because they are pregnant and need the extra strength, they may need fattening up ready to send off or simply because there is a lack of grass to eat and they need topping up to keep them healthy.
In this post I have included some of the pictures from us just driving around checking the livestock. It’s lovely to see a happy herd and flock just staring back at you!