The heat wave of 2018 leaves a hay shortage

Posted on August 18th, 2018

So this week it feels as though the heat wave is over and England is back to standard summer weather. Here on the farm we have had the usual mix of sun, showers and comfortable temperatures for being out and about. For our guests, there is plenty to do both indoors and out and the farm run resumes a leisurely pace as we no longer try to beat the rising temperature of the day. The animals are up and about and happy to greet us instead of lolling around in the shade and it is back to wellies for the guests with flip flops reserved for the beach. The grass has responded and begun to grow once again, a relief for feeding the animals, though a hay shortage in making is concerning.

Hay shortage implications for Coombe Mill

The heat wave meant the grass stopped growing and left the farmers unable to make hay. While it is now growing again, it is doubtful there will be enough to cut, dry and bale for the animals this winter. So far we haven’t found anyone in Cornwall in a position to sell locally produced hay. Farmer Nick is getting creative on our 30 acres moving animals around the fields with our little helpers and contemplating silage as a backup for some. Thankfully we should have enough land to see us through to spring with careful grazing, but I fear not every farm will find it so easy with the hay shortage. Just as well the animals themselves are content to just live day to day in the safe knowledge extra food will arrive each morning with the sound of the tractor.  

Morning Tractor ride to feed the animals

tractor and trailer

4 new fawns this summer will add to the hay shortage dilemma.

Deer and fawn running


The goats are very happy with their maize breakfast supplements

Hand feeding Pigmy Goats


The ponies will always beg for carrots however much grass and hay they have.

Skippy the Coombe Mill Holidays pony

Listening to Farmer Nick on how to help move the sheep to the next field.

Listening to how to move sheep


On the plus side our holiday bookings for 2019 are looking encouraging on the back of the heat wave this summer and all the animals are currently looking in excellent condition.

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