Tuesday, December 23, 2014

The Red Polls In Winter

As I said in yesterday's post, all of our early December snows were followed by thaws, and the result was a mild first week. The cattle and I enjoyed the freedom to walk across the snowless barnyard and Scarlett continued to nurse her calf, Rosella. In this photo, Rosella was 130 days old and nearly half the size of her mother. I'd call that a wonderful growth rate:

But I'd interrupted them by taking the picture, and Rosella gave me the silly expression I always get when her nursing is interrupted - milk covered face and tongue sticking out:

The Red Poll girls continued to eat the remnants of the summer's grass, preferring it to their expensive hay:

Although they'd happily give it a taste now and then:

I liked this photo because it shows how sturdy, wide and deep bodied they've become:

And they have also become quite tame over the past year. I walk among them in situations like this, pushing them out of the way when necessary or just patting them to remind them I'm there:

But of course the first Nor'easter hit and changed everything:

There was no longer any grass to be found:

And the cows had to eat their hay:

The hay bales are stored outside and the outer layer becomes quite frozen, making it difficult to get at the good stuff:

Rosella found a new use for the bale feeder when she squeezed between the bars and lay down on top of their "salad." It was cute, and I snapped a picture before I shooed her out of there. After all, that expensive hay was their sustenance for the winter:

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