I think I might have to face the fact I have lost my cows. I've looked down the Lantanaland version of behind the couch, in the deep freeze and under the bed, but I think it's time to face the reality that someone has claimed them or shipped them off to council. (They are tagged, so council should ring me, but they were most unhelpful when I called them.)
This is what happens when you are on a small holding and you gamble with consequences. I have learnt the hard way that you shouldn't do things until you are ready for them, but sometimes circumstances force your hand. I had one well fenced paddock that was almost eaten out and one that was open on one side to 100 acres or so of i fenced bush that backs on to many different properties. They'd gotten out into this many times and I'd always got them back or they'd come back themselves. It had great grass and lots of water, so I gambled and moved them to where there was feed. It was a stupid gamble.
At least I have learnt my lesson with the chooks. I have a nice secure pen near the house whe The Boy can see the chickens. It was home to a lone silky, the big ones were tearing up the garden beds so got shipped back to the beehives, where they had space and could help control the small hive beetle. Fluffy the silkie chook went clucky, so we got here some Sussex chicks to look after. They were a little to big though and she was smart enough to ignore them, so the experiment was repeated with 3 Indian runner ducklings. This time it worked a treat, so the ducks no have a fluffy silkie mum that will end up being a third their size.
Great to have ducks back though, one of my favourite farm animals, great for the yard and produce the best eggs going. Duck egg pasta is one of life's great pleasures, but if you have any good duck egg recipes, leave them in the comments!