The Shetlands are finally out to grass. The wet Welsh winters and our heavy clay soil means that, although some Shetlands live happily outside all year round, we prefer to keep our cattle inside over winter. They are still pasture fed, preserved in the form of a haylage crop taken from our hay fields in the summer. It was beginning to feel like a very long winter but suddenly, miraculously, we had a few days of warm sun and it was finally time to let the cows out again.
In late afternoon we ran the cattle out from the barn, down the lane and into a small field near the house. Thankfully, although obviously very excited to be outside again they remembered the drill. They quickly settled down to their first taste of fresh green pasture in more than 5 months.
For our small herd (8 head) a 1/3 ha field was too large for effective grazing so we split the field in half with an electric fence. After 36 hours they were moved into the second half of the field.