Everything on four legs

This was a cade lamb that turned into a real bruiser, you could never turn your back on him. Once he'd started his run, you had to star running too, most of the times he would still catch you up.

The Cade Lambs

Years ago had some Cades, reared around the garden,
Tame and bold and cheeky, from us we tried to harden,
But this one tup lamb hard faced, nothing put him off,
Would follow close behind, and charge you from his trough.

Out in the field when he got big, he’d look and give a baaaa,
He would let you get half way in, then start his run from far,
Always from behind at speed, he’d leap from five foot back,
Hit you with his bony head, your hip or thighs he’d whack.

 Even if you saw him come, to waive him off you try,
The charge would be just the same, the devil he was sly,
Take off your coat, hang it out, he would be drawn to that,
Like a bullfighter in the ring, he loved to have a spat.

Word got round, keep out that field, cross it if you dare,
Could not see which one he was, from a distance stare,
Then without warning at full speed, to late he’s got you marked,
Now it was we must know it’s his temper we have sparked.



Yes when we're talking about livestock, "on four legs" I mean everything, and that includes those that are not so welcome, ie. mice. They're always in the sheds in winter around the cattle feeds, and quite often found in our own house, in the pantry

Mother had a Mouse Trap

Mother had a mouse trap, to catch the pesky mice,
She always used to bate it, with anything but rice,
The rind of cheese old and smelly for them to entice,
Never failed always worked, from her you got advice.

The trap all set on pantry shelf, a dangerous devise,
Us kids to touch and set it off, never did it twice,
Catch ya finger in the trap, the result it isn’t nice,
We’re learning from experience, with danger do not dice.

Countryman  (Owd Fred)


I Remember Killing the Pig
The pig was rolled onto the bench and slaughtered, the blood was saved in a bucket to make Black Pudding

About once a year the butcher called, for to kill a pig,
Scrubbed off the pig bench, it was heavy and big,
Don’t know whose it was, but it went around the village,
To lay the pig on when it’s killed, this it had lot of usage.

Starve the pig from day before, empty belly they need,
Then the butcher prepares his tools, then the pig to lead,
By a noose round his snout, mid squealing protest struggle,
Took three men to lift on bench,to hold it on they grapple.

We watched all this when we were kids, fingers in our ears,
Then bang the butcher shot him, and cut its throat mid tears,
It happened fast, the kids will learn; catch the blood in bucket,
Kicking stopped, and bucket full, into pantry put it.

Very hot water poured all over, and scrape the hair all off,
He scalded the hooves, with a hook ripped the hoof clean off,
This was the worst when he opened it up, all put into the barrow,
Save the heart , liver and kidneys, same sequence always follow.

Then with a “tree”, like a big clothes hanger, lifted pig to beam,
Left to set almost week, butcher returns, to watch were keen,.
The head comes off to make the brawn, boiled in a great big pot,
The rest is quartered, for to salt down, onto the setlas brought.

Some fresh pork saved to use right now, take the neighbours some,
Other do the same as well, almost every month a treat become,
Two hams in muslin bags are hung, on hook in pantry cool,
The bacon too is done the same, enough to make you drool.

Mother makes the faggots and black puddings from the blood,
Nothings ever wasted, fat is rendered down, the scratching’s good,
Lard for frying and cooking, stored all in big stone jars,
Lined up in the pantry, all the work done, by our poor old m’a.


I  Remember Father’s Cattle

In the mid 1950’s vets were recommending worming young stock with a new product called .Phenothiazine.This was a powder and had to be mixed with water and a pint or so was pour down their throats (drenched)

This is one of our cows that calved in April 2011.Phenothiazine has gone well out of date, it acted as an anaesthetic on the worms and they would be passed out in the dung, that is why it was always best to move wormed stock onto a clean pasture soon after worming. Nowadays we use a pour-on wormer and is less stressful to the cattle than drenching. We worm the suckleing calves every 10 weeks through their first summer 

I remember father counting, cattle each and every day,
He counts and looks at every one, to see they’re all OK,
Now one day he see's one cough, and then it was another.
If we don’t do something quickly, we’ll be in a bit of bother.

So off down he goes to get, some wormer in a rush,
And back he comes and reads the label, says get them in a crush,
No crush have we, but four strong lads, we’ll get them in a stable,
Mix water and green powder in a bucket, put it on the table.

Four long neck bottles we did find, for dosing all the cattle,
Phenothiozine, it’s called, and keep it stirred or it will settle,
The pop had gone as we made sure; we loved the fizzy taste,
One pint and half was dose that’s needed, over dose was waste.

Pint ladle and a funnel now, into the bottled it was measured,
Us lads went in among the stock, as tightly they were gathered,
The bottles we did pass to one, who had ones chin held high,
Uptip the med-sin to back of throat, do not look down or ni.

The cow that coughs, coughs both ends, and chuck it back they try,
Its just a waste as we were told, but hits you in the eye,
Soon learn to leave it quickly, as soon as we could shift,
As dosing cattle get there own back, now who’s being thrift.

We often wondered why we lads, had grown so big and strong,
When other lads around us, were only lean and long,
Put it down to fresh air, and read farmers weekly magazine,
But all the time it wasn’t, twas Phenothiazine.
Countryman  (Owd Fred)


Winston the bull getting adventurous got out of his field and set off trying to find his cows that he had not seen for six months, he got the field gate open and on his way had a play with the stack of bales of straw.
When I first saw him out, the first thing was to shut the road side gate, in the meantime he had walked into the garden and had a good look round and through the kitchen window before making his way back to the Field
This is Winston our Hereford Bull on the meadows where he is with the cows

Here he had got out of his field where he spent the winter on his own, and he knew it was time to look for his herd of cows, but he had got into the garden round the house

He walked into the veranda over the back door of the house parting the chairs and had a look through the kitchen window

Out through a narrow opening in the trellis, he really made it flex as he went through, keep in mind the width of his rear end in the top picture

By the look of the straw on his back he had had a play in the bales on his way down to the house

From here he headed back to his own field

And this is the area of garden that Winston plundered  and the veranda where we sit and have a coffee in a mornings

The stray cat Samantha (Sam for short)

Every farm has cat or two about or even in the house, then occasionally a stray cat will turn up, my suspicion is that some get dumped at the gate, knowing that they will find rats or mice about the farm buildings. this one turned up and she was huge, she looked as if she was about to give birth. But no she was still the same five months later, and she did eventually come into the house.

And when she did eventually come in the house she really made herself at home, spread out on the kitchen table

A made herself at home in MY chair at the head of the table, she is showing what she's made of here, unfortunately she did not live many months after these pictures were taken.

She came to us, or was dumped at our gate in the August, and by Christmas she was tame enough to come in the house then in the following June she was poisoned and died

We’ve Got a Big Black Stray Cat

We’ve got a big black stray cat, with a belly fit to bust,
Thought she’s having kittens, within days it was a must,
Been that way for five months now, that’s the way she’s built,
Curled up in a nest of hay, almost like a quilt.

Very wary when approached, must be catching plenty mice,
It was August when we saw her; she was looking very nice,
Used to us working round her, let her sleep and have a rest,
Doing a good job round the farmyard, controlling all the pests.

As it got cold found cardboard box, keep the draught at bay,
After a week or more we moved the box, closer to our way,
Till the box was in the porch, she spent hours curled up in their,
Fed her a few titbits from a dish, so easy did she scare.

We put a kennel instead of box, more comfort for the cat,
Polystyrene in the bottom, a total insulation matt,
A fabric igloo then insert, for comfort beyond her dreams,
Spent hours and hours asleep in there, doing nothing so it seems

A bet was on that this fat cat, by Christmas in the house,
And sure enough when it got cold, into back door forget the mouse,
Did not like door the being shut, looked for a quick way out,
So nervous in a new surrounding looked to see who’s about.

Gradually she gained trust in us, and found the Rayburn warm,
Made a nest off the floor, by chimney breast, new cover adorn,
Settled in well for Christmas, start of a new routine,
Curled up warm day and night, a couple of breaks in between.

Lazy comes to mind right now, as all her food is in a dish,
Only got to stand up, and it’s all there for when she wish,
So now we’ve got to name her, this enormous ‘two ton’ cat,
Samantha what we call her, but for short it’s Sam, (it’s short and fat).


Unfortunately, being a good hunter she picked up a poisoned rat from some buildings next door and ate it, this of coarse poisoned her, after numerous visits to the vets failed to save her, and she died, in fact we had her put down to save her from a horrible death all within the week


The Suckler Cows
The suckler cows they graze all summer, until we wean the calf,
When the calves we take away, cows they bellow not by half,
The calves the same in shed we keep, until they settle in,
Gates are high and fences too, all to stop them from esca-apin.

Three days it lasts, until they feel, the pain of hunger’s stronger,
The cows they clear off down the field, and hang about no longer,
Calves have no choice but stay, feed them corn and feed them hay,
One month they need get used to living, in the yard all in a bay.

They all get wormed and gain no weight, till frettin they’ve forgotten,
Put them out on clean grass, feed supplements, no silage rotten,
There they will grow and gain the weight, they lost plus plenty more,
When at last they do get fat, read the scales its there we can’t ignore.


These are a few picture of the cattle around the farm all taken in July 2007 ,2008 and 2011. Both Simmental and Hereford bred calves come out with a white face
This picture was taken five yrs ago when we had a
Simmental bull It was taken through the branches of a
young Chestnut tree near the gate
This cows named is Chocky, notice her
month/ muzzle is as wide as her eyes
she is the leader of the herd

Chocky with Winston.
Looks like he's ready for action
This is our currant bull named Winston running on
the meadows with the cows.
He seems to have the meat in the right places

Four months old selection of calves all
Winston's on the left out of
a Simmental cow, the two
black ones are Aberdeen Angus
cross cows and the red one
straight Hereford
He looks a "chip off the same block"
Its a Winston son from last year

1 comment:

  1. thanks for directing me to this post Fred, those are some great calves that Winston is producing.