Countryfile kicked off BBC One’s Sunday evening’s entertainment and Anita Rani was touring one of London’s cemeteries and she discovered a trove of treasures right on her doorstep. Tom Heap, on the other hand, was investigating the controversial decision which allows UK farmers to use a banned pesticide on their fields. Meanwhile, Adam Henson was showing viewers how a super-meal is specially concocted for his animals during the winters months and those watching at home were surprised by the ingredients used.
“Most of our livestock are indoors back at the sheds,” Adam began explaining. “We bought a lot of the animals into the sheds in November and December time, really to keep them warm and dry and give them easy access to food and to stop them trashing the fields and turning them into a mud bath!
“You can see they all look very content in there now. But with around 60 cows and 500-odd sheep to feed, that puts a lot of pressure on the farm to give them all the food and bedding all winter, and so we feed well over 100 tonnes of grub to these animals.
“There’s a lot of work,” the farmer added.
Adam then introduces a “handy green contraception” which helped him feed his animals, quickly.
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“So we can feel all these animals efficiently over the winter, we have a feed wagon, and Luke here is operating it today,” he told those watching at home.
“And what it is, is a great big mixer, and in here we put some straw, some silage, minerals, beans, barely, and then it’s all mixed up in there like a great big cake mixer, and then it shoots out the side, feed them all and they help themselves!”
He went onto say how the mixture is “nutritionally balanced to give the 200 or so animals exactly what they need”.
Adam used the scoop of a loader to pour all the ingredients in before it was then put int the mixer.
“Now admittedly, it’s not looking too appetising yet,” Adam voiced. “But our beasts our going to love it.”
The next ingredient bound the mixture together and added fibre.
“So in here we’ve got all the straw, this is what’s left after we’ve combined all the fields, we’ve baled it up and brought it into the shed here,” the presenter said. “We need about 15kg of straw for this mix.”
He went onto say how the measurements are “critical” and they needed to get the amount “absolutely right”.
With the straw in the wagon, the “key ingredient” was added, the silage.
“This is an absolutely crucial part of the diet, this is grass that we cut in the summer and put inside this plastic bag and that pickles it,” Adam explained. “It stays fresh and edible all winter and it’s full of nutrients, full of fibre, proteins and energy.”
He then went onto discuss the “serious concerns” he and the farm had last summer about their silage harvest.
Adam compared the quantity of silage they produced in summer 2020 to that of the year before and they had “half as much as they expected” with the drought having a “significant effect”.
“Thankfully, things didn’t turn out quite so rough,” he told Countryfile viewers. “We were quite worried about the amounts of silage we would end up with, we got quite a good second cut and loads of hay so we’re feeding some of the horses and sheep hay out in the field and that’s taken the pressure off the silage.”
It was then added into the pot and the blades whirred, chopping and mixing all the ingredients together for the cows feed.
Those watching at home were surprised by the choice of ingredients used to make the animals’ food and took to Twitter to comment.
One said: “Molasses & beans!! #Countryfile,” while another wrote: “The contents of most cereal bars then?!”
“Mmmmm, treacly beans #countryfile,” someone else mentioned.
A fourth commented: “Ooh it’s like master chef but for animals #countryfile.”
“Adam thinks he’s competition for Kellogg’s… #countryfile,” one joked.
While a tweet read: “#countryfile what’s for tea mum? Molasses, beans and fermented grass again.”
Countryfile airs Sunday nights at 6pm on BBC One.