Holidays (St. John’s Eve and Christmas) are the times of year for us to to put even more depth, time and care into communicating with our animals – the time for ourselves. We caress and acknowledge all who show themselves of being open to such methods of acknowledgement. Thankfully, during longer holidays we have the chance to spend more time with our animals and it is during that time when all of the cattle get the most care and attention. Every living being in our farm shares a common purpose – to make excellent cheese that brings joy to the ones who consume it. To achieve such goals we find the bond between each other to be of upmost importance.
The emotion of an animal is immediate, just the thing that is in the proximity of one’s tongue or horn provides them with emotion and activity. This enables us to bring christmas trees into the barns multiple times- beginning from the last day of Advent two to three times a week. It is interesting to observe the behavior and reaction of the cattle when the first Christmas trees arrive. Do so while casually walking around the barn. The higher-ups in the cattle are the first to inspect what has been brought inside. Others strut around the trees or pretend not to be interested in it. After having smelled the trees the only natural step is to taste it, after which the cow is torn between either trying to chomp off softer branches,should the taste of them be pleasant, or play around with them if the flavor is of unpleasant kind. As long as the tree stands upright it can be used to scratch their heads, establish dominance etc. The moment the tree falls, the interest is lost. When the higher-ups are busy inspecting the tree the other cows start to come around it as well, as it is a signal to them that whatever that has been brought in is safe. So it is for a brief moment that a large number of cows try to get a piece of the action, obtain their own little moment of pure emotion. The calves are not left out and follow suit. Some of the younger or older ones spring their tail like an antenna and start strutting in circles around the barn as a result of it.
Our Dotsies feast with both rye and wheat bread. During Christmas they get pieces of it multiple times a day, as long as they want it at all. Should someone, who doesn’t have an animal, wish to share some Christmas bread with one, our farm is open for you to spend a Christmas holiday with our Dotsies. The emotion is mutual.
Our cattle is fed bread all throughout the year, 2-3 times a month. During Christmas, however, we do it more often and more thoughtfully. The first thing we do on Christmas morning is go to the barn and shout „Christmas! Christmas!“ and feed our cattle with holiday bread, making them feel the holiday joy as well, for they can appreciate the joy of Christmas themselves. The giving of bread during holidays is an age-old tradition with its clear purposes. The christmas bread is to offer protection, strength and endurance, along with healthy calves in the future. It is believed that both the giver and the receiver of the bread will never suffer famine in their lifetime.