Stock pens built to 'Victorian' standards keep even the flightiest cows in place at the farm on the M62

The weather has been causing complications at the farm on the M62The weather has been causing complications at the farm on the M62
The weather has been causing complications at the farm on the M62
The electric fencing tackle has been begrudgingly hauled down from the loft floor this week and fitted to the quad bike.

With sheep heading to all four Ridings of our great county, we’re thankful we have a wrapper that fits onto our bike. It’s certainly made the job of erecting mile upon mile of fencing less tiresome and means we can get round the fields in half the time.

Of course, there is usually an argument between father and son over who drives the bike and who walks along pushing the plastic posts in. On the majority of occasions, the latter wins the battle!

The Farnley cows are now home safe and sound.

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Paul recruited a team of helpers to walk the herd up to the handling pens where a fleet of trailers were waiting to bring them home. Thankfully they all came without any hurtling and careering mad dashes!

Following a fairly disastrous loading last year, the pens are now well and truly stockproof. A good friend of ours always says: “Think Victorian”, whenever you’re building anything!

Paul, who is usually the master at over engineering, took his friend’s advice on board and needless to say, the pens kept even the most flighty and athletic of cows exactly where they were meant to be.

Sadly, after loading in glorious dry weather conditions, Mother Nature has dealt a low blow, leaving us shrouded in thick, suffocating fog.

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Coupled with the mild temperatures, this kind of weather is disastrous for housed cattle. With little to no air flow, the cows soon start to sweat and any cough or sniffle can potentially be pneumonia. In an attempt to alleviate the problem, we clipped the backs of the calves and whilst they were in the crush they had their liver fluke and worm treatment.

To add to the long list of strange requests we regularly receive through the post, the latest one would like to use our home as a giant billboard.

It strikes me as an incredibly dangerous idea to plaster great big banners all over our house for people driving at high speeds to read! Aside from the fact that I’ve no desire for Stott Hall to disappear under a curtain of advertising banners, our tenancy agreement does not allow for any roadside advertising of any description. So for now, we remain a stone farmhouse!

I always think Paul overstocks on tups at this time of year. He returns from most sales with a new one in tow and usually to the sound of me saying: “How many tups do you actually need?”

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He always tells me, you can never have too many and he’s usually right. Of course, if one has to pop his clogs right before tupping time, you can guarantee it will be one of your favourites.

The deceased Woodland tup we found one morning was no exception and with a defeated sigh Paul walked back to the house.

Our Great Yorkshire show champion White-faced Woodland lay at my feet, the life well and truly departed from a once proud and magnificent lad.

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