Friday 30 November 2012

A Hippo On My Smallholding. ("Picture this A day in late November.")

A 'proper' picture of 'Hippo' for you  today.  That's 'Archie's head you can see next to the feeding trough.  See how muddy 'Hippo's' coat is?  You can see how she got her name.
Fido the terrier posing this morning.  She was black as the Ace of Spades until she went for a straw bath in the barn.  She  just crawls through the straw and comes out pristine and clean.  Well, it beats having a bath, doesn't it.

Time for a video.  We haven't had a song for a day or so have we?  Here's the fantastic 'Blondie' (Debbie Harry) singing 'Picture This'.   Did I see you singing?  

Later folks.


  1. Great picture of Fido, Dave. When are you going to do a full piece on her?

    One of the best/most loyal dogs I've ever come across

  2. Yes, see why it's Hippo. Strange head / face / expression. Looks like a nice beef animal though.

    Fido looks like a happy little soul today.

    Another lovely day here, bright blue sunny sky, no breeze, crisp frost, had to scrape ice off the windscreen this morning. Seems to be clouding in now though.
    Saw "our" squirrel again this afternoon, in front of garage door, then up onto gate and into tree. Looks like it's adopted us, I hope so, I love to see these little animals.
    Raggy cat been in this morning, out then back in again, in front of fire. Hope it doesn't get hungry enough to go after squirrel.

  3. Hi Pat,

    Yeah Fido is a great canine friend. She's a very good ratter. Just say: "Rats" or start hissing and she goes crazy. She's must be ten now. So I suppose she's seventy in dog years. Her father Toby was a fierce and very handsome dog. He had the heart of a lion. Will post a picture of him some time for you. You're favourite is the Highland Scottie Dog isn't it Pat? Are they good ratters?


  4. Hi Cumbrian. Yeah 'Hippo' is a Simmental cross. She was only born in April and she looks like she will make a great beef animal. Don't know much about the Simmental. Are they French? We seem to be getting a lot of the continental breeds in Ireland now. They make the most money and people want lean meat with little fat and cholesterol... John Seymour said there was none of that nonsense when he was young. Farmers did hard physical work and burned off any fat. Think he had a point.

    Been raining here today. Everybody seems to have a soft rush problem. I blame the wet summers and the big tractors compacting the land. Oh to go back to the horse and cart.

    What colour squirrel did you say it was Cumbrian? Have you gave it a name? No doubt you are feeding it?

    Used to know somebody who used to put food out for a rat every night. He said it was the same one that returned. I didn't have the heart to tell him they all look the same!


  5. Hi there, just letting you know that you are in my Featured Personal Blog sidebar for December/January on Carole's Chatter. Have a great week.

  6. Hi there Carole, Thanks a lot for featuring my blog on your Featured Personal Blog sidebar. I am very grateful and honoured.

    I would imagine it's Summer time over there? Hope you have a great weekend and thanks for taking the time to read my post.

    Thanks Carole.

  7. I like the look of Fido. I had a Fido once. Proper name for a dog. Is that granite or slate she is standing on?
    About the Ealing comedies I think they are all great. The days when acting was acting. None of this 'living in character' for weeks nonsense. If you can act why would you need to do such a thing?

  8. Hi John, Yeah Fido is very faithful, trustful and loyal. So she's got the right name. W t's crushed slate rock.

    I also think the Ealing comedies are great. A lot of them were made during or after the Second World war. Back in the days when they gave people that 'feel good factor' and let people have a good laugh and forget about their troubles for a while. I also like a lot of modern English (British)films.

    Think we could have done with a few weeks at RADA. It would have made us stronger characters. I know what you mean though.

    Thanks for visiting this site.

  9. Simmental I don't know much about, except they're continental, a blocky beef type beast, but not as big in the rump as Belgians, I think they're usually a light brown and white colour with white face, Hippo has the white face but not the colour, wonder what cross it is? I think they're noted for their speed of growth as well.
    Are they the ones from the Alpine slopes usually portrayed with big bells round their necks?

    I was always told the taste's in the fat, and the very best Scottish beef has the distinctive marbling of the slow maturing beast, about 3 years old I was told, rather than the 18 months aimed for with modern fast-track maturing, "baby beef" as somebody called it, lean but soft and pale colour.

    Squirrel's a red I'm pleased to say, I think Cumbria's one of the few places where they haven't been ousted by the greys I know in some Southern counties the greys are epedemic, I've eaten squirrel pie in Rye, Sussex, so maybe that's one way to cut their numbers. Not much meat on them though.
    Haven't given it a name, just "squirrel".
    And not feeding it, a cats favourite trick is to stalk the birds on a bird table attracted by free food, so I think that if I start feeding squirrel and Raggy cat decides it looks like good protien, squirrel will become Raggy food. Apart from that, I don't believe it's such a good idea to get self-supporting wild animals dependant on us. Just my thinking.

    Damp this morning, light grey sky, no breeze and a bit warmer.
    Raggy cat asleep in front of fire (it's not switched on)

  10. Morning Cumbrian,

    Hippo is supposed to be a Simmental cross. I looked them up on Google and like you say they're more light brown and white. Hmm..?

    I call them all:'mongrel' cattle. They are all crossed cattle. It's the continental sire that makes them more expensive. So you often see a continental bull with a herd of whitehead (Hereford Friesan cross) cows. The Simmental's come from Switzerland.

    I like the Hereford for it's temperament and meat. The Aberdeen Angus Angus is excellent for steak. I wouldn't mind getting some Belted Galloway cattle. They can live on top of a mountain, all year round, very hardy. Would anybody buy them though? The demand is for the continentals. They are big boned animals and everything is sold by weight these days. I agree with you about taste. Farmers only keep animals that put on the most weight quickly.

    There are red squirrels in Kerry but none round here. Think you're right about not to make wild animals depend on us. But putting out food attracts them into the garden and it helps them keep alive when the ground is frozen or covered in snow. Do squirrels kill any animals for food? Think their staple diet is nuts. They are great at planting acorns and forgetting where they hid them. Leaving lots of trees.

    Cold and dry here at the moment. Still too wet to get digging on the veg plot.


  11. There is (or was) a field of Belted Galloways just along the road from us near Silloth, all seemed to have identical white belts, white on black, but I think they come in brown and white as well, unusual markings. They looked more like a Freisan conformation, but I don't know if they were milk of beef animals. Must admit it's the only herd of them I've seen.
    Think a couple might fit in well with your mixed herd?

    I suppose you're right, some food scattered when the ground's frozen hard or covered in snow would attract the wildlife, but I've never liked scattering food, it attracts rats as well. And they survive in the wild without our asistance.
    I'd like to help the squirrels though, I'll keep an eye out and if I notice any about when the really hard weather comes I'll scatter a few nuts for them.

    Nice day here again, almost dark now at 4 o'clock, but been a bright sunshiney day again.
    Raggy cat gone out after dinner biccies and milk.

  12. Hi Cumbrian, The Belted Galloways can live outside all year round and are usually kept for beef. Rare breeds are starting to appear again here and there. However these are usually either organic or rare breed farmers. Most farmers seem to go for the continental breeds.

    A saucer of water is a real show of kindness to wildlife on a frozen winter's morning.

    Mizzle day here today. Supposed to be wet for the next couple of days. Very mild though and the gales seem to have abated for a while.

    Fido came in this morning for her 2 chocolate biscuits a day wages.


  13. In answer to your question, Dave, yeah, I like both Westies and Scotties, as they're both dogs of character. Somewhere along the line, I guess that these dogs were bred for hunting fox and other such creatures. Thus, I guess they would be reasonable 'ratters'.

    What about Waggles (Fido's mother), Dave, is she still a 'good ratter'?

  14. Don't see much of Waggles, Pat. She's getting very old now. Talking of rats. We drove passed a school holding a 'cake sale'and a rat came running towards the school. I didn't know rats can read 'cake sale' signs.

    It's raining today. Just for a change.

    Cattle fed, ducks fed, goat gardening (chewing brambles...), pony eating bread and veg peelings, Domino the cat is fed and so are the dog, Shakira and Fido. Have I forgotten anybody? Oh yeah - me!


  15. Always thought a sausage dog would be a good addition for you, Dave. Apparently, they're very nervous and self-conscious, possibly because of their shape, so I guess that getting one would provide lots of new excitement, Dave.

  16. Morning Pat. You've got a great sense of humour. Don't want any more animals at the moment. I paid three hundred and twenty Euros for a ton of beef nuts on Friday. The livestock cost an arm and a leg. Was it a good concert last night?

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