Sunday, 7 February 2010

Cattle on the Green

As we walked the dogs up the hill this afternoon, a small herd of Commoners` cattle followed us for a while. On our return, we found the members of this motley crew at rest on the green, looking for all the world like the subjects of a Dutch landscape painting.

Several local New Forest Commoners depasture their beef cattle on the Forest, where the animals graze on heather if grass is in short supply. In harsh winters, their owners will bring hay up into the woods for the stock to feed on. These cattle were in good condition today and several of them are in calf. Several are of mixed breeding. All of them are registered and tagged in accordance with EU regulations and the laws of the New Forest Verderers Court. It will be the younger offspring who will eventually be sold for meat. The breeding cows have a good life out on the Forest, unless they wander into the road at night and are hit by a speeding car

A Belted Galloway in calf.

A Charolais ( or Charolais cross) rests with another "Beltie".

I am usure about the breeding of these two beautiful red cows. Possibly Red Devons or a cross breed. The standing cow was enjoying a good head scratch on a tree branch.

A pretty young Hereford-cross heifer on her way down the lane.


Bovey Belle said...

They''re all in good nick. I don't remember many cattle out on the Forest when I was a kid - a few, but not the numbers one sees these days. I suppose it makes economical sense.

Kath said...

I love the Belted galloways, but then I also like saddle back pigs. Must be their panda like colouring that appeals.I have always loved the way the grazing animals stroll around the NF, oblivious of people wanting to hurry along in their cars, then stop and deposit a steaming pile in total distain for the motor-car :D

Morning's Minion said...

Cows! This post has me remembering some of the bovine attributes which I didn't enjoy when we farmed all those years ago. Very obstinate creatures cattle are.
I'm interested in the Red Devons. My grandfather had a rather motley herd of dairy cows and some mahogany colored ones he called Durhams--I wonder if the two breeds are related. {Marvelous the mind-tangents which blog following inspires!]

Morning's Minion said...

Ann, I'm looking at the comment which appears to be in Chinese characters and trying to recall some bit of warning info that I read in the news this week---I forget the details but it seems this type of a message could carry a virus. I'll try to find the info.

Dartford Warbler said...

Thank you MM. Yes, I read the warning on a blog that we both go to. The Chinese characters are now in the bin!

Mac n' Janet said...

Remember the horses more in the forest, and a huge pig that I took for a cow in one of the villages.

ChrisJ said...

Goodness! It's almost a whole week since I visited. I've been relying on Bloggers updates but they don't seem to keep themselves up to date! My first thought when I looked at the pictures was, "These cows look in good shape". and you confirmed that thought. Not that I'm any authority believe me. But I wouldn't mind learning. Bit late in life to do that. Sometimes I think that I'd be happy if the Lord put me in charge of the animals in heaven :) :) :) ...along with Noah, I suppose.