Alison is a farm consultant who looks after the animals when I am absent. She is tied to this obligation with chains of fire like a titan in Hades. I discovered her birth certificate in the oak desk she gave me to repair for her. She knows that I can release her birthdate, hour, minute even to an expectant world if displeased.
Apart from that, the farm and everything in it are safe in her hands, releasing me and others to get away from time to time: on this occasion it is a birthday celebration involving most of my university friends from years ago.
So here goes Ali, with thanks:
Billy and the expectant mothers are up at the new shed. The morning routine is as follows:
Three legged grumpy white Morag gets a scoop of nuts in a bucket with a dollop of cod-liver oil- while the others get a scoosh in the trough (6 scoops) quickly so they don’t all mug Morag for hers. I generally leave the second bucket for one of the other girls to relieve congestion at the trough.
Abbie has her little black calf, none of the others look imminent but hornless Moira or dun Holly look likeliest. There is an isolation pen inside the shed if a new mother needs to concentrate on baby.
Little Holly and Alice in the old shed get 2 scoops in the sheep trough, hay in your rack, and refreshed bedding. The chooks get a scoop of corn from the dustbin spread around the chookie house, and cocky the gimp gets let out last in case the Nog feels predatory. (All the girls will be lined up in the roof glaring at you with glittering eyes – so don’t need closing in or releasing).
The stotts on the hard (5 red and the wee dun) get 8 scoops. The gate can be left open when you head down to Angus Halfhorn and the two girls. These guys spend the day in the level field, mainly so that Alice can dry her sandcracked hooves – but are fed at the trough inside the Aspens, the deerfenced paddock. Angie has taken to dancing around in anticipation, be careful of sticky mud around the trough – it’s hard to get out the way!
That’s it – you’re done – apart from locking up cocky at night and refilling the rack for the wee girls.
All feeders contain silage – Billy and the mums will run out on Sunday – but I’ll be able to refill that night if necessary.
Now: the Art of the Nog. (Btw Calum is so impressed at your Nog handling – though the Nog thinks Calum is a wolf in crofter’s clothing- got a point I suppose)
The Nog will not follow you to the yard – he thinks it clever to cut across country. He will follow you down to the stotts and Angus, but expects to ride up from the Aspens gate (o dear o dear this is shameful) and then up to the road gate. Down the road back to the garage, he expects to be harried at speed while being abused loudly – be careful taking the bend below the house.