It looks very much like we have got lucky with…

November 5, 2007 in webcams by MrFarmer

It looks very much like we have got lucky with weaning Willow. I haven’t seen her taking milk from Lady for about a week. I thought that it could have been that I have missed it. But on checking Lady’s udder tonight she looks pretty well dry. It could well be that it has been difficult for Willow to have got to the udder with Lady being rugged up. Horse rugs have leg straps that go between the Horses legs to stop them sliding about. We purposely left Ladies straps off so that Willow could get to the udder. I reckon the bother of going under the rug to get to the milk has stopped Willow from feeding from Lady. Willow tends to be with Bliss and Misty most of the time, so it could also be that she hasn’t bothered to go back to Lady for her feed.

It will be a blessing if Willow has weaned herself off of Lady. It will not be necessary for us to part them, which is always a very stressful time for both the Mare and Foal. We normally have to stable the Mares and put the Foals in a paddock on their own. Both continuously are calling for each other for as long as three weeks. Even then when you let the Mares out of the stable, they will look for the Foal in what ever field you turn them out in. On saying that Bliss and Misty were very good last year, it was only the Mares that were calling out.

I keep the Bird and Badger feed in an old chest freezer in a barn opposite the Farm House. I always tend to drop a bit of the feed on the floor, of course that encourages Rats. Every evening that I went in to the barn I heard the scuffling about of what I thought were Rats. If ever there was to much feed when I got a new delivery, I would put the bags that I could not get in to the freezer, over the bottom half of the stable door, in the hope that the Rats would not get to it. Of course nine times out of ten they did, causing the bags to spill some of their contents on the floor. A couple of days ago I saw some animal quickly dart in and out of the barn. I didn’t get a good view, as there was a machine that I had left outside the barn door, and the sun was also shining, making it difficult for me to see what ever it was properly. Of course I thought that it was a Rat. I was surprised, as I had baited the barn a few weeks before and their was still some of the poison were I had baited. This morning I saw the animal again coming out of the barn. Again I only got a quick glance, the shadows showing the shape rather than the colour. The shape was definitely that of a Stoat or Weasel. It could have had a home in the barn for a while, or had started using it for a food source of the poisoned dead Rats. If the latter is the reason for it being in the barn, it may well get secondary poisoning from eating the dead poisoned Rats.

The Badgers were not all feeding at the same time tonight. I only saw eight at one time. Four on one camera and four on the other. I am sure that they were all there over the evening. You know I can never remember when they start to be seen less. Badgers don’t hibernate, but they do tend to be a lot quieter late Autumn and Winter. The first year that we showed them on the cameras, there was a long spell of not seeing any at all for some weeks. Last year If I remember correctly, a few Badgers would feed over a long period most nights. It could well be that they are starting to quieten down. Although it could also be the fireworks, and every now and then the wind is a bit gusty.