This morning the cattle were let out to grass for the day. Three of the older calves are ready to be weaned and were separated from the rest and left in the fold yard. This did not go down well with the mothers who have been balling out all day.
The cattle were not the only ones to be unsettled by the change in routine. The movement of cattle to the back fields caused havoc in the guinea fowl world as they have had the freedom of the grass fields surrounding our farm all Winter. I don’t think they were very happy about sharing.
Mid morning I went to check on the guinea fowl and found five of them down the hedgerow bordering the field where the cows were grazing. Charlie the oldest male guinea fowl was keeping a look out for his female hens. On close inspection I found Camilla sat in the middle of a large patch of nettles. I accidently disturbed her and as she moved back, she revealed a collection of three eggs. When I picked them up, one of them was still warm. Just laid perhaps?
On seeing me, Camilla moved further back into the hedgerow and sat crouched down with her wings splayed out. The guineas and cattle do not mix so I tried to move the poultry away from this area, but when I moved towards Camilla she started to open her beak and practically hissed at me like a goose, with her wings flapping. I couldn’t decide whether she still needed to lay an egg or whether she was just petrified, so I left her in peace.
I made a quick exit from the field because there are a few gaps in the hedgerow and I wasn’t sure if the men had remembered to turn the electric fence on and I didn’t want to be chased by a herd of cows with newly born calves.
When I found myself at a safe distance from the cattle, I tried to track down all the guinea fowl and pin point their location in a hope of finding more eggs. On a quick search of the garden I did manage to locate 4 eggs in a well dug out nest in the unkept part of my garden. Egg count today therefore totals 7 guinea eggs and 1 Hatty egg, so I am doing well.
This afternoon I did another patrol of the garden and field hedgerows but I did not manage to find any more eggs. I also went back to where Camilla had been nesting but either she didn’t lay or the magpies took the egg. I fear those pesky magpies are winning the egg hunt!
As well as getting the cattle out and then back in tonight, the menfolk have been busy trying to complete the front of the new grain store. More news and photos on the new grain store to follow soon.
Whilst writing this update, the cattle have returned to the fold yard, but the incessant balling from the mother cows has not stopped. The reason for this is that the calves we are weaning have been separated to another pen which the mothers can see. It must be difficult for them because they have been separated all day and now they can see each other but just can’t get close to each other. This must be the trials and tribulations of a cow and weaned calf. I just hope that they don’t make that noise into the night.
When I went to put the guinea fowl and Hatty away for the night, I did one final check for eggs and found another in the well dug nest in the unkept part of my garden. This makes the total egg count for the day 8 guinea fowl eggs and 1 Hatty egg. A record egg collecting day for me. Victory for the human over the magpies!
Another interesting day from the farming friends farm yard.