This morning while having finished giving the mini crofter his breakfast and I was about to try and polish off the rest of my cold toast I noticed, beyond the byre, something was different…Binoculars out and behold, the ring feeder was up ended. Having just put a new bale out less than 24 hours earlier I was desperate to save as much hay as possible before the cows embarked on using it for exfoliating their hooves. Cue: bundle mini crofter into buggy, pull on wellies, and off we go. What greeted us was a set up by the organisers of ‘Tough Mudder’. A tightrope walk between the mud/slurry bath on one side and electric fence on the other with a very delicate line of solid earth in between to get to the feeder. It had then be placed (deliberately I’m sure, by one or more of the cows) into the mud bath. The type of mud that causes you to sink into a vacuum forcing yoga moves to be performed. The ring feeder then needed to be manoeuvred through the mud to align before heaving it back up and over the remaining hay without hitting the fence. Hay that has now been spread by ravenous cows. The electric line needed braved once again to finally cross to the finish line (field gate).
Or so I thought. Except I’d given the cows several buckets of cow nuts to keep them away from the hay while attempting the rescue mission. Not a bucket each, but a few. The hierarchy of the cow herd had obviously been put to the test and the buckets were now scattered at various points by cows adamant that any other bucket must have food. Our bull and matriarch were sniffing out any nuts that may have been spilt while the rest looked like they were playing musical chairs, desperate to end up with a bucket. Since it was very windy, no one will have overheard my conversation with the cows to explain that their buckets really were empty, shaking them upside down as I tried to redeem them and avoid a stampede. All to be completed within the time frame of a contented mini crofter.
Not all jobs on the croft are the equivalent to Tough Mudder, I’ll be honest. However, we don’t tend to have to set the place up as an obstacle course, the livestock/weather lead the way. It can be a bit more expensive for us than just entering a race, but, if anyone wants a shot (aka help out), I wouldn’t charge you.
Medal for completion: Wellies that give off a fragrant ‘farmyard’ aroma for the next 8 hours…