A Fine Mess

I can blame it on a lot of things, the series of storms that has been this winter, the 2 large herds of elk that swoop in and out of the pastures ignoring fences completely, minimal grass growing because of the cooler temps, our preoccupation with the twins and all their needs, or just a sheer lack of wanting to go out in soggy, snowy, cold weather to work on fences. But the bottom line is that our fences are not up to standards and will need a lot of attention.

All this has led to a large problem.

We had the 5 cow/calf pairs in the nursery field with our main herd across the river (this is where the big elk herd kept tromping through and grabbing all the edible blades of grass). We also had our big herd sire, Renaissance in the main herd. All seemed to be working well when one of the mothers of the cow/calf pairs had come into her first heat since delivering her calf. Renaissance would not let a couple of fences that were a bit wobbly, and the Nehalem River stop him from visiting the ‘randy’ cow.

Several of the other cows in the main herd decided to follow the bull, and next thing you know we have animals on both sides of the river. Fences no longer secure. The new calves are split up with some on one side of the Nehalem and some on the other. Mothers were on wrong side of the river from their babies. All the animals were hungry and expecting to be fed. Renaissance is busy checking every female for receptiveness. And everyone is worked up into a frenzy making muddy footprints all over both fields. It was all the sounds of a stampede but going in no direction other than circular bedlam.

We had to get some of the animals eating hay, then separated the mother cows that belonged to the babies on the wrong side of the river over there to be reunited. The cows did not want to leave their breakfasts, and we goofed and pushed one of the mother cows, that did not have her baby on the other side, over there anyway. Since the river is high during the winter, humans cannot cross it, Mike had to drive the Gator up the road to get access to the stranded mothers and babies. Then we had to find the right mother and push her across, then move the group from the deep crossing up stream to the shallower crossing before the babies would follow their moms.

It took most of the morning to get all members into one group.

So for now, the whole main herd is living and eating together in the big field.

A herd of Black Angus eating a line of hay in large field with trees in the background.The line of feeding animals stretches through the field and down into the dip.

We will have to get busy, as soon as the weather cooperates and gives us chance to repair, separate and re-field the animals properly.


3 thoughts on “A Fine Mess

  1. Yikes I feel lazy when I read your dillema with the cow herd. I’m here at ohsu waiting for a friend to have her infusion treatment of 2hrs. Some folks just have such different stresses than me. Hang in there 💕Your prayers of a nice day come true, but don’t dally we only were told it’s a 24 hr break!

  2. It just never ends, does it. LOL!

    Todd, our big sire, would find the highest point in the fence and somehow get his giant body down on the ground and crawl like a snake under the fence to go out and gallivant with the neighborhood ladies. We’d work that fence for days, trying to find where he could possibly have gotten out, and fix every spot that looked possible, only to see him a few days later find the only part of the fence we hadn’t worked on as his escape route. I think that’s where I learned all my curse words – listening to my father swear at that bull year after year until he finally swore he’d shot that monster between the eyes if he did it again – we ate well that winter, unfortunately.

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