Winter on #Blissfarm

There’s little heat in the earth, growth is slow and everything is wet in winter.

We’ve been preparing garden beds for the spring crop. The turnips were cleared – some were pickled and others fed to the moolz. An old strawberry bed was grubbed out. New raspberry canes went in and there were plenty of animal-antics.

The cows are out of control

The moo bears are badly behaved. I take full responsibility. I’ve been working on reducing their flight zones aka loving the moo bears by plying them with bread, fruit and hay treats. Rosie knows enough to keep a little reserve (‘the humans took my baebee!’) but Teddy and Baby can only see food. They might mooch around most of the day appearing to eat grass but even those thick grey muscles of tongue can’t pull out stubble. We supplement their feed with a book or two of hay each day. They’re accustomed to starting the day with a big breakfast, and aren’t too happy on weekends when feeding time at the zoo ends up a little later. They rarely mooed in the past, now they go off as soon as they hear our outdoor movements. Each cow has a unique moo.  I like to think Rosie sounds like a normal cow. Baby has the deep moo of an elder. And Teddy, a tagged pure bread, named because she’s a curly girly, moos with a high pitch squeak. There’s been a couple of times when the hay came at the end of the day and we paid for it.

Rosie rammed the gate to the house yard and she and Baby spent the afternoon doing the circuit around the house, stomping, breaking, eating and pooing to their hearts’ content. The goats had the foresight not to push their luck and Teddy showed unusual restraint and kept to the paddock. Or at least we didn’t catch her in the yard. Less so on the ram raid on the paddock shed. Cows have limited spatial awareness of inanimate objects, crash, bang, boom, what a mess. Baby was sprung chewing the end of a straw broom. It’s slim pickings on a farm in winter.

Teddy now walks right up to me and rips the hay from my arms. I have to sneak down to the paddock in the dark, get the hay and move to the dry area were we’re feeding them and call out ‘Moooooeeeeee, curmoooon,’ until I see their white stripes bouncing up the hill.

Comings and goings of goats

The goats have been moved to higher ground during winter. The barn is a bog thanks to the rain and the presence of three cows who make a mess to the power of three. Midgey and Little One are now in their own paddock and truth be told they seem a little lonely. They’re herd animoolz and they miss chillin with the moo bears in da (pad)dock. They too sound off at our first outdoor appearance. But goats have selective hearing. I can call Little One when I get home in the dark and if she’s gone to bed I get nada. When it’s dark and cold but  she wants breakfast it’s on for young and old.

On sadder news we lost Midgey’s mum, Malty. She looked a little off colour one Sunday afternoon. She was eating but kept sitting down which was very unusual behaviour. After a difficult night trying to keep her warm and hand feeding her water it was time to call the vet for the green needle of dreams. She was 100% personality that one. Vale Malty.

Wallaby-proof fence

It’s great to be so close to wildlife but we have spent the winter literally chasing wallabies in the, ‘You go that way, I’ll go the other way’, brandishing brooms to steer them out of the property sort-of-way. With Rosie and Baby’s romping and stomping and a constant trail of bouncing wallabies, the house garden is decimated and the paddock grass has taken a beating. There were so many one day I texted the Lovely Deputy to suggest we change the name from #Blissfarm to Bonorong. He wasn’t amused. Today he finished the wallaby-proof fencing and it’s been the quietest day in a long time. No boing boing hiss hiss. Yep, a wallaby with no escape route will hiss.

I’m writing this and it’s still raining and all I can think about is the rain, wee and poo bog that surrounds the barn. Even the cows are slipping in the mud. Ick. Are you looking forward to it drying out as much as I am?

If you like the #Blissfarm animal tales there’s plenty of them.  Here’s the last one – It’s a Girl.

 

 

 

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