Our recently arrived Flexigraze cattle had to go through their TB testing this week. Despite the fact thet they have come from a TB free area it was a bit of an anxious time. They had the first part of it on Monday and were assessed on Thursday to ensure that there was no reaction. Fortunately all has gone well and they were all clear. They can now carry on with their work in grazing for us around Druridge Bay.
When being moved, by the volunteers at Hauxley, to a new paddock earlier in the week the Manx Loaghtans (the brown sheep) got all the way to the gate and then decided they preferred where they had been and ran all the way back their old field!!! This afternoon after a little persuasion from Jess, the collie, they were reunited with the rest of the flock again.
Some of our Highland cattle on the move to a new field. to get there they had to walk 3/4 mile across 3 hay fields and down a track.Once on the move they strolled along happily but did enjoy stopping for a munch on the patches of red clover growing on the way. Thanks to John and Rebecca for their help.
Checking the livestock sometimes provides a wonderful opportunity to get out and enjoy the countryside, especially on a beautiful spring afternoon. The ponies and sheep were easily found on Prestwick Carr on Sunday, meaning there was more time to enjoy the wildlife that could be spotted. It wasn’t the busiest of days but a butterfly passed by at speed, too quick for a positive identification, and a lapwing flew over the site but in the distance. A better view was to be had of a female wheatear, recently returned from Africa and on route to the uplands where it will breed. Overhead skylarks gave a wonderful musical accompaniment to the trip and with the sun warm and the air relatively still it did seem like spring was finally here.
Several times a year we have to move the livestock around on the grazings to take account of the changing seasons. In times past they would have walked but now with the roads dominated by cars they get to travel in style. The pictures demonstrate why they have to be moved over the winter……….and in the case of 2012 sometimes the summer as well!
Why is it that if ponies, sheep or cattle are going to escape they have to do it on a Friday afternoon (or over the weekend)? So it was today that we learnt that the ponies were ‘in a hide’ at Druridge Pools. It was quickly ascertained that while not actually in a hide they were close by and not in the field where they were supposed to be. They must have crossed the broken fence to get away but they seemed very reluctant to do so in the opposite direction. Eventually they were persuaded but the fence still needed an emergency repair – not a very neat and tidy job but functional. Hopefully they will stay where they are supposed to be until the next inconvenient time to get out!