Postcards from the Edge – Cows and other Farm Animals
Posted on August 9, 2015
Even before you discover the many different native birds — and, in season, the thousands that come through to rest and fatten up for the next part of their journey — the most prominent animals here, dominating the landscape, are the cows.
Actually, they are vacationers themselves: Farmers from the mainland lease the green, luscious pastures on the Hallig and in the spring transport their herds, mostly moms-to-be, to their summer home on the Hallig. They get to go on the regular ferry with human passengers. The calves are born here, and they stay until the fall. As far as we can tell, they are as happy as can be.
There are many different herds here. We are in the German state of Schleswig-Holstein, so appropriately, there are the typical black-and-white Holstein cows.
Then we have many brown, and brown-and-white cows.
Our favorites are the Galloways, a very old breed of cattle prized for hundreds of years for their excellent meat.
In the States, we are primarily familiar with the Belted Galloways, but they also come in all whitish and all black. They are very funny looking and very shaggy. We have a herd at the foot of our Warft, and we love to watch them scratch themselves on a scratching post.
We are getting to know the herds that we pass each day.
There are the bulls, always amorous, but the ladies don’t seem interested. After all, they have their hooves full with bringing up their youngsters who are still at home. Then again, who needs men!
There are numerous calves, frisky, curious, and constantly hungry.
We have taken very amusing videos of cows fighting and jockeying for position at the drinking fountain. This herd tends to spend a good bit of the day at the other end of a pasture to graze, rest, and chew, but their source of water is at this end. The lead cow gets the first long drink, but when the others catch up, there is pushing and shoving. I suppose they all get enough in the end. It is a daily source of entertainment.
We also have a number of sheep on the Hallig.
They come over on the ferry, too, to have their lambs on the Hallig. The ewes use these shelters to give birth, and later to get out of the sun, wind, or rain.
Sheep make excellent lawn mowers.
These are our hosts, Henriette and Sönke Schwartz. They both wear a lot of hats, including taking care of their sheep business.
The faithful and hard working horses are on their feet all day long. They pull the carriages that shuttle visitors and day trippers to and from ferries, to restaurants, and to visit interesting sites. They work one day and get the next day off.
This is the driver of one of the carriages. He has just unhitched his two horses and is leading them to their pasture to eat, drink, and rest.
Suzi, the Animal Lover.
Don’t go away…..get your health on, grab some fresh greens and sit tight, there’s another blog post on the way.