Spare time found between rain storms, chores and wintertime laziness has me back along the old fence line. This is the fencing that had already broken down when we purchased the place 40 years ago and had never gotten around to getting the area cleaned up.
Slowly working my way through the brambles, I have still been locating stands of rusting barb wire grown into roots and buried in silt from the high-water floods. Continue reading
Some days it just doesn’t pay to wake up in the morning, our newest calf, Crystal, found out the hard way.
As I was feeding the main herd in the outdoor feeders (in the foreground you can see the backs of the cows that I am feeding), I looked up to see the cows in the nursery field with their babies.
Crystal had somehow woken up on the wrong side of the fence. The mothers and other babies were all trying to get her to come back over into the nursery field but she was unsure how she got into this situation.
When building and repairing the fences, we try to keep the bottom wire up off the ground by about 12-14 inches so that the cows can keep the grass nibbled down without the wire growing into the grass (and eventually dirt). A newborn that has bedded down next to the fence could easily fit under the wire as it gets up and ends up on the wrong side before realizing the problem.
Today, after finishing with the main herd, I drove the sweeping road around the barn and barnyard to the nursery field. I fed the mothers and babies on the ground to keep them busy and opened up the two gates into the barnyard and into the area where Crystal was still pacing the fence.
I was able to get her shooed into the barnyard and closed that gate so I wouldn’t lose her. By that time her mother, Sapphire had come into the barnyard for the reunion. I was able to move mother and baby back out into the nursery field where the meal could be finished without any more interruption.
I went back to the fence and tightened up a couple of droopy wires. Hopefully Crystal has figured out how to stay within the boundary line.
We have finally gotten around to completing the fence around the barnyard of the barn we put up across the river a couple of years ago. Originally we had started this fence just after completion of this barn, but other tasks kept the job from completion. We had completed the first side and corner and matched it with the wire fence that was there from the old barnyard.
The boards were ones that we had salvaged when we tore down the old barn.
The old fence was just barely holding the cows out of the barnyard. It was surprising just how hard it was to tear out all the posts, wire, baling twine and years of patchwork to try to keep the fence standing.
The barnyard fence is now complete, and just in time. The herd needs to be brought into the barnyard and barn in a few days to put the green weaners into the next batch of calves.