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Hedgehog takes over Shed

We had been allowing our hay to dry out and so had moved the farm equipment out of the shed to give us extra space.  Having dried out, I stored it all away over the weekend.

Now, we have spotted on a fairly regular basis a young hedgehog wandering around during the day.  It seems fine and has duly ignored the food we put out for it (puppy food in case you were wondering).  I spotted it wandering around our large shed but thought little of it and left it to carry on.

As you probably know, hedgehogs are called hedgehogs because they like to nest in hedges.  They can also be quite partial to piles of garden rubbish.  I also know that they don’t tend to nest in the same place until they hibernate.

This hedgehog has not read the same books as me!

I noticed, in the middle of the shed floor, a small pile of hay and straw.  I went over to look and there was the little hedgehog nesting in it.   So this little hedgehog has chosen a to nest in a huge shed, maybe to keep out of the rain.  It also dawned on me that it must have liked the space under the drying out bales of hay.

So, I put some bales round to keep it warm and safe.  The spot is marked by an arrow in the picture above.

And all the farming equipment remains out in the rain.

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Highland Cows Come to Auchenstroan

bluebell and ivor

On Sunday, our highland cows arrived.  We have been waiting ages as one of them turned out to be pregnant, so we postponed their arrival until the calf was born.  It was a great experience, offloading them and moving them into a nearby field.  We have to thank Jim and Fiona for bringing them over (we don’t have a big enough trailer).

Having learned from our pigs experience, we allowed them some time to settle.  At first, they spent much time by the gate where they had come in.  But the grass was lush and they were soon tucking in.

We had been receiving training in handling cows and have spent time with Texa and Bluebell before their move.  We had combed them and tried to get to know them.  We think they recognise us, but they are, for the moment, keeping their distance.

ivor the highland coo
Ivor the highland coo

The calf, Ivor, is a right little cutie pie.  He is torn by curiosity and wariness.  He studies us, approaches, then changes his mind.  Every now and then, he tears round the field.

After a couple of days, we opened the access into a larger field.  This one has a steep bank with overgrown grass but also the new grass from where the hay was cut.  We lead the three cows up to the new grass.  All three skipped for joy, it was lovely to watch.  Ivor, of course, tore round as there was lots of space for him.

They also came face to face with our tups which are in the field next door.  Both cows and tups were very curious about each other.

They seem to be settling in well, despite the constant rain we seem to be having.  We are working on getting them to trust is so that we can approach them.  They need combed from time to time, well, maybe not “need”, but it helps.

It is great having highland cows.  They are majestical, magical beasts.  It is a magical experience just sitting with them.

highland cows bluebell ivor and texa
Bluebell, Ivor and Texa