This is a continuation of the post from 5/29/2019 titled, Ya Just Never Know.
So I told you about moving the main herd out of our way after ear tagging some of the older calves and the fun time we had taking out the irrigation line with the mess of digging a trench to bury a new PVC line.
We had anticipated the cows would be able to graze for five to seven days without running out of grass or new growth on the under brush surrounding the far field, but things did not start out well. We were surprised when after only one day over there, one cow had figured out how to escape from one side of the fence to the other. She was making trails, leaving plops and eating as much tall grass as she could in the small 6 acre hay field while her herd mates hollered at her from across the fence. We had to coax her from the 6 acre field into the 26 acre field and across the expanse of that field and open up the ‘run’ made with temporary electric fencing so we could open the gate and let her back in with her herd. Continue reading
Our group of six yearling bulls that have been spending most of their time, lounging and growing in the bull pen pastures were rounded up and moved into the show barn to be sorted.
#26, Mud Dauber, now sixteen months old had been picked to be sold and we needed to sort him from all of his cousins so the new owner could pick him up. This crop of bulls are pretty docile and it was no problem to open the bull pen gate and let them into the green pasture that is usually held for the critters from the show barn. Continue reading
Fencing has been the big priority over the last couple of weeks. Elk damage, storm related breaks from falling tree debris, and basic maintenance has been keeping us busy. Anytime that it is not raining, we are out along the lines securing areas for the cattle.
This temporary electrified fence across the back of the hay field has several purposes,
- Creates a barrier to keep the main herd out of the hay field until the grass is ripe enough to cut for hay in June (the hay field is on the left, grazing area on the right).
- The sweeping curve of the fence cuts off the more challenging terrain of the field including old stumps, deep impressions from decaying root systems and a large swamp/swale area (avoiding obstacles that damage or sink hay equipment).
- Gives an extra five acres of forage area for the main herd while the hay field is out of commission for forage.
Once the hay has been taken off the field, the cattle will once again have access to the area and will be in charge of cleaning up the corners and any hay bits that remain after harvest. I call them my four-legged gleaning crew.
Jackson our ‘wild child’ dog is able to wait patiently when he knows that it will be soon time for us to start up the Gator for chores, especially when it’s feeding time.
If he only knew that mere feet below his snout, a black kitten was also waiting for the signal for dinner time to begin on the farm.
The kitten was waiting as patiently as the dog, and knows what is coming since the order of mealtime is run in a pattern.
The motor of the Gator starting sends cattle, dogs and cats into frenzied anticipation with copious amounts of saliva as they anticipate their upcoming meal. (Come to think of it, my tummy starts rumbling about that time of day knowing that our dinner time follows the critters meals.)
Usually I try to have my posts completed and scheduled to release in the early morning hours, today it was just not possible.
Last night, when I normally would have been completing my post for this morning, we were busy moving cattle around in order to have things ready for today. We had to first move the two remaining yearling bulls from the bull pen into a barn pen alongside the three heifers in the show barn. Then we had to move the batch of show animals which consisted of the bull Prowler, four cows with their calves and the three yearling heifers out into the bull pen and lock up the gates so the would stay out of our way. Continue reading
Prowler has been growing steadily since we brought him home in October.
He is now a full year old and has been acting ‘more bully’ by more closely following the two pregnant cows and three heifers that he has been spending time with. It seems that all three of the heifers were not bred as we had thought and Prowler has decided it is time for him to grow up.
The one heifer was ‘slow to settle’ when she was with the main herd sire. That is lingo for not getting bred right away but we did not see her come back into heat after we took the sire away an had assumed that all was good.
Prowler has let us know in no uncertain terms that we were mistaken, and has also informed us that he is ready to take on more responsibilities around the farm.
The seven heifers were given a new carpet of chips in their outdoor pen.
A big load of weathered wood chips was laid down across the pen and the heifers took no time at all to sniff, snort, shuffle and scamper around to enjoy the fresh, new coating.
Once they were all tuckered out the heifers spent the afternoon lounging on the chips and chewing their cud.
It was a happy day for the heifers and for those of us who were watching them.