It’s been a week of long, cold days and even colder nights.
Farming life isn’t always new growth and adventure. It can be a little heartbreaking at times too.
That was the case when grass tetany hit us on Friday morning. It’s a deadly magnesium deficiency in cattle brought about by lack of sunshine and cold weather.
Blocks had been put out in preparation but it just wasn’t enough in this case. Old cows are particularly susceptible and this old girl didn’t make it through the cold night.
We’ve been feeding out Causmag – a magnesium-rich powder which is spread over hay (and covers everyone and everything with a fine white powder).
Yesterday was also the first time I have witnessed Dean and Dad do a bit of recipe development – making special licks for the cattle containing the Causmag. Apparently the powder is good for the cattle but tastes awful. You can’t reason with them so it takes some sugar to entice them to eat it.
By some sugar I mean big buckets of molasses that has to be warmed to get it moving and mixed. Not an easy feat on a cold day.
There was much discussion on the correct ratio of salt to powder to molasses. Their operation wouldn’t pass a health inspector’s test - the brew was created out the front of the shed and stirred with an old garden fork – but the cows seemed to like to.
And we haven’t lost another cow, which is the most important thing.
Dean’s also been out in the cold spreading urea on the motorbike … brrrrrr! We’ve had so much rain it’s the only way to get across the paddocks.
So when he put in a request for sultana scones on Saturday afternoon, I thought I’d be nice and whip them up.
Sorry for the lack of photographs. The scones went straight from the oven to the table and Dean and Dad scoffed them before I could think to take any pictures.
And thanks for your recipe advice Mum. Apparently I’m a little rough with the dough – so remember if you want light, fluffy scones use your soft indoor hands not your tough farmer hands.
SHORT AND SWEET: Serve straight from the oven with lashings of salty butter and a pot of hot tea. Jam optional. And be sure to break the scone apart with your fingers, not a knife, for the ideal scone experience.
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