These two, Lissie and Milly
And this one, the recently artificially inseminated ( by the bull On Time)
these three were the reason we were off out yesterday with trailer attached to the van,
the destination being a farm somewhere in the French countryside,
the instructions having been given over the phone,
and all in French of course,
which meant that it was going to be miracle if we found the farm at all.
road dirt track to the barns was steeply downhill though,
oh dear, muddy and slidey, that is what the track was like,
easy to go down though,
just put the brakes on and let the car and trailer slide down to the bottom if necessary,
sort of like a mini ski slope.
But not to worry, this possible eventuality did not happen,
and at the barns we arrived, still intact, and under full mechanical control.
So why were we having this adventure?
We were on a recce to find someone who would sell us some hay,
our own stocks having become depleted to almost nothing.
With no local hay available, having been all sold out due to the weeks and weeks of cold weather. heavy frosts, and brilliant blue skies,
Buying hay, that is what we were doing,
because we have none, it is all gone, eaten by the cows and the sheep,
because there is hardly any grazing out on the fields for them.
And visits to our two local suppliers were of no help in the search for hay,
because they have none to sell because of the exceptionally cold winter we are having.
So at this farmer we arrived,
and there he was, waiting in front of his sheep barn, with eight small bales of hay,
which is all he could spare.
They will only feed the cows for a couple of days, though,.
but not to worry,
at least we had found some hay to keep them going.
Hay paid for,
handshakes all round ( farmer's are friendly people here)
and up the muddy track we headed.
With a bit of sliding from side to side,
and the van moaning about having to make the effort,
and me shutting my eyes and hoping we made it up to the road OK without falling into the ditches on either side of the track,
we arrived safe at the road.
Hungry cows, but sheep OK.
Unloaded the trailer,
Untied a couple of the small bales
gave one each to the adult cows.
Wouldn't eat it.
Which did not seem very generous of them seeing as how we had made such an effort to find some hay for them.
...and this is the hay, looking all ruffled up because the two rottweiller girls have spent the day sleeping on it, because we had to go and buy hay from a different farmer, hay which we hoped would be more acceptable to the palate of those three cows.
...and here we are back home again. Two bales were on the trailer, the first has been wiggled off by Lester an inch at a time (it was at the wrong height for the big tractor to lift off so it had to be done manually) and he is just getting this one off. This was our second trip of the day, having already bought two bales from the farmer this morning.
Now, ....where to put them..... oh here will do....
....we can still get through the front door, but the four bales do rather spoil the effect of the pots of lavender round the new front door, ........
But not to worry, these bales should hopefully last until the middle to end of February, when we shall have to hunt out another supply, but by then the grass should have hopefully started growing again.
Bye for now,