Tom’s birthday was this week and his turned out much better than mine. He got to sleep in his own bed, there was no fire alarm and as far as I know, no snoring to keep him awake. (Read about Candy’s Birthday here.)
Last night we sorted out the big cows and kept the ones not going in with the bull up by the barn and started the others towards the back. This morning we brought up the heifers not going in with the bull to go in Kimball. This will be the second time we’ve grazed it this year and it looks ready. Lots of red and white clover along with some less nutritious Queen Anne’s Lace and Goldenrod. The bees are making use of everything in flower and their hive is full of buzzing, so even if the cows don’t like to eat Goldenrod and Queen Anne’s Lace someone likes it.
Once young heifers were out of the way we sent the older cows on out back where the breeding group will be living until the bull comes back out again. Then the bull could join them. It took a bit of engineering to open his gate, when he escaped earlier this summer we took no chances of a repeat performance and double gated him along with a hog panel to add height. (Read about his escape here) Got the gate open and had to do a bit of gentle persuasion to get him to walk through and then he only went as far as the first weed clump and commenced eating. Nothing would move him until that weed that had been mocking him for weeks on the other side of the fence had been disposed of.
When I say gentle persuasion I mean exactly that. The last time I saw the statistics more farmers are killed every year by their bulls than by tractors. We always carry a stick, don’t get between him and his cows, know our nearest exit and do nothing to get him riled up. These are the precautions we take with a mild mannered bull who has never given us a bit of trouble. If he had ever given us trouble then he would have been loaded promptly and sent to the sale barn. Life is too short to have mean cows.
Once he got moving he went on down the lane in the direction the cows had gone. I had him nearly to the last gate that needed opening to put him in with his cows and told Tom I got this, you can go and let the cows not being bred into Kimball with the heifers. Then I realised the bull was right in front of the gate which is on the other side of a narrow bridge that spans the creek. I had to walk uncomfortably close to him while he pawed the ground and dropped to his knees to sharpen his horns (that he doesn’t have, he was born polled, naturally hornless). Managed to sneak past him and climbed the gate so I could open it from the safety of the other side and now all the cows have come up to see him. He, on the other hand has no time for them. After bellowing for them for months he is more interested in clover.
Got the cows turned around and walking away before he decided to follow them instead of his first plan which was to wander about the pasture he was in instead of walking on through the gate.
One last step, gather up the two cows and one calf going into Kimball. Victoria was with the program and ran through the open gates with Charlotte’s calf hot on her heels. Problem was the gate to the lane got pushed open and off the cows ran, past the gate to Kimball and all the way to the end of the lane. I walked on down the lane for the third or fourth time, turned them around and sent them back up the lane but I didn’t see the calf. I thought we’d left him behind a clump of trees and I watched for him all the way up but there was no sign of him. Got the cows up to the gate to Kimball and Tom didn’t have him either. He had turned back into a shelter when he ran by with Victoria and hadn’t followed his mom when she caught up to Victoria and they dashed merrily on down the lane. We had shut all the gates behind us as we went so while I held the cows by the gate to Kimball Tom backtracked, opened 3 gates, found the little blighter and sent him to join his mom with only a few miss starts.
So, as of now, everyone is where they belong for the next few months. We came on in to have a drink and for Tom to ice his new knee before we take care of the last bit of business; evict Professor from the water trough and start the water running.
How’s your weekend? Candy