Saturday, February 4, 2012

Typical Day

Novella enjoying birdseed with the chickens
Here  at Novellas Farm every morning starts in pretty much the  same way, I get out of bed, hit the bathroom, pull on jeans, shirt, boots and jacket.

Then it is straight to the hay trailer for a load of hay, I put this into an empty plastic garbage can, (never used for garbage) and trudge down to the cow yard. Each animal has her own feeding trough, and each of them
needs an enormous helping first thing in the morning, It is as though they have been starved for days, I am not sure what goes on down there at night, but it evidently burns a lot of calories.

Next it is to the green house where the chicken feed is kept, I get a can full of feed for each coop, pour it out along the inside of the fence, where they line up and have breakfast. Fresh water for all... feed the chicks and water them, and then....

 I go back up to the house for a cup of coffee and to start getting my milking supplies together. Hot water for washing, towels for drying, large container of sweet feed/ alfalfa and of course....more hay.

On my return trip to the cow yard, the cow that is to be milked is ready to get into the stanchion and get her
feed, the milking  is just an incidental on her part, for her the whole experience revolves around the feed she will receive while being milked. Needless to say the cow that is being dried off is in a state of envy. She stands at the fence shooting daggers at while I  feed the lucky girl in the stanchion. Of course at this time I also give the other cows..... more hay.

I love this picture, Novella at one of her feeding stations
After milking, and these additional feedings one would think the animals would be ready to take a break from eating, maybe walk around, look at the sites, maybe just stand in the sun and enjoy the morning, but no...

At this time they will all leave the cow yard and head up to their feeding stations by the garden. if there is something they find acceptable they will consume it. Other wise it is off to the compost pile to check out what morsels may have deposited there, normally they will find something to suit their fancy. Then a quick trip to the chicken yard to eat any thing over looked by the hens.

Next stop is the bird feeders, if the feeder has been filled recently a cow is able to hit the feeder with her head and make seeds drop out, this is also an acceptable feed for the cows, so I have found. If it happens to be spring or summer the humming bird feeders will be visited as well, several times a day for a refreshing "treat drink".

Finally, branches that may have been over looked on previous foraging expeditions will be examined and ripped free of any greenery that may have escaped them earlier.Their long tongues are very much like a giraffes, and it is only the fact that their necks are short that entire trees are not bare.

Finally around this time they will decide to rest, and of course ruminate, which in a way is still eating.
Laying down and ruminating always seems like a nice way to spend time, if I were a cow I think I would
spend many more hours doing just that. Interesting fact, their gorging is actually an evolutionary adaptation,
these animals being prey benefit from eating as much as possible as quickly as possible at one time, ruminating( regurgitating and chewing of cud)  is done later while in a safe place.

If there is one thing a farm teaches a person it is the true meaning of routine, the animals force a person to surrender to the routines of their lives. It makes a person look at the rush of the outside world and cherish
the wisdom of this simple life.

Novella about to get a leaf
Thank you Novella!

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