Duty of Care

As this is written today’s Countryfile is on the TV: “Charlotte investigates what some dairy farmers are doing in the face of falling prices. She meets up with Neil Baker, his herd of 1700 cattle live inside all year round. Neil is so confident in the welfare of his herd he invites Phil Brooke from Compassion In World Farming to have a look around. Charlotte then catches up with Neil Darwent and looks into the idea of free-range milk, which Neil hopes could soon become a regular sight on our supermarket shelves.”

Neil Baker’s cows must be experiencing the Five Freedoms so why does what he is doing  seem not right?  Is it just sentimentality? And isn’t “free range milk” what we all had in our bottles until comparatively recently?

As soon as one enters into a relationship with animals things become complicated.

We now have two cockerels (post Fanny) and have been re-allocating the hens so that any bullying is reduced.  Floppy has the gentle hens so June and April have been moved into his care and today looked content


While Shelia has to police the rest


Dustbathing (part of one of the Five Freedoms) is proving hard in the mud – under the roosting box providing just about the only place


so today we got a load of sharp sand to experiment with making a sand pit bathing area.

And then there are the squirrels…


not as many and not quite as assertive as when we lived in the city – but what is our relationship with them? They come and eat food we are providing for the birds – do they need a little light culling?

It is easier to relate to animals that are totally dependent and totally happy (as far as it is possible to read the mind of a guinea pig)


I am sure our farmer neighbour has got it all sorted in his mind about number 107


Pethan eraill yn y tyddyn heddiw: