We have been keeping a closer eye on the herd these days after a neighbor from across the ridge stopped by. They were missing a couple of their Scottish Highland heifers after a cougar had run them through their pasture fences. Over the years the mountain lions have been seen around the farm. Earlier this spring, a friend that had been driving past the farm, saw a big cat walk down the driveway, cross in front of his car, leap over the fence and head toward the river.
Our calves are most vulnerable to cougars, because they are slower if the herd starts to run. We have very motherly brood cows and they would not put up with a mountain lion bothering around their babies. So far we have not seen any sign that the cougars have been bothering our herd and all seems calm.
The main herd has been feeding around the outside of the far hay field for the last week. Currently, the herd consists of cows with their calves, the herd sire and the one remaining animal to give birth. The forest and railroad grade where we had been logging now is dotted with hoofy prints and meadow muffins and the herd has grazed down the grass, clover and brush along the field line.
Today the herd will be moved across the river and across the growing hay field to pasture closer to the barns and around the largest hay field. This shuffling of the herd will continue until we have made and picked up all the hay bales of the first field that will be worked next month. Each time we finish a field, the cows with their calves will be let into the newly harvested field to pick up any grass that was missed with the mower and hay that was not picked up by the baler.