Poor cows! Ranchers in the US often put a metal grille in the road instead of a gate, and that's enough to keep the cows inside. The cows don't like stepping on surfaces like that with their hoofs. I bet these cows would laugh and walk right on through. Living like this must make them tought, still...I wonder if they get jealous of grassland cows.
I actually feel a little guilty, Ryan, when I compare to our cows feeding in full meadows. But then, we wouldn't have this famous cheese and chocolate if the cows didn't get all this spicy herbs and full grass. ;))
It's actually quiet a good area to live in for a cow. I don't know if it is still the custom but traditionally they started the calf off with a year here to build big bones on the limestone rich grass before moving them to the rich lush grass of of the golden vale or Meath. The fields in the burren are less barren then they seem.
In the winter you didn't need to put the cows indoors as the winters are mild. Some people kept land for this purpose although their farms were in other areas. It is common to find cattle on the tops of the hills during the winter as there is a temprature inversion effect which makes the valleys colder.
Ah yes, it makes sense about the bones, Mike! Thank you for the information!
About the inversion, that happens also, where I live. So quite often it is warmer up here at 800 m than down in the midlands, but the farmers put their cattle only about for an hour daily to the fresh air in the snow for their health.
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Photo taken in Poulnagun, Co. Clare, Ireland
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