The call we had a week ago about our loaner herd breaking out of the pasture and eating the flowers in the neighbors yard was a fortuitous kick that got us motivated to get the loaner herd home. Continue reading
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Our loaner herd of cows consisting of Topanga, her calf and three bred heifers had been serving on pasture grazing duty at a neighbor farm since spring. This herd has been doing a fine job all summer long, keeping the pastures trimmed up and the fire danger low for the farmer who no longer keeps his own herd of livestock. It is a win, win situation, we don’t have to worry about feeding the critters and the neighbor gets pasture maintenance.
By August of a typical year when the summer sun dries the dirt beneath the grass and there is no new growth, we move the loaner herd back home. But the muggy summer without the sweltering high temperatures and the thunderstorms of August kept the grass growing so the neighbor farmer was happy to keep the herd well past the normal dates. That worked well for us since Topanga was quite pregnant at the time and we don’t like to haul animals so near to calving. It was August 17 when Topanga birthed her heifer calf, Donna. You can review her story from the post called A New Late Addition dated 8/21. Continue reading
The three heifers and the more senior cow, Topanga, have been effectively keeping the neighbors grass trimmed during the summer. On a typical year, the grass would have all dried up by now and we would have moved the traveling herd home. But with these series of small storms, we have had enough moisture to keep the grass growing so the four critters are quite content to continue with their work. Continue reading
The fall weather, with quick changes from bright and sunny to breezy and showers, highlights the colors on the farm. But on this day as we were beginning the evening chores, it was a surprise to see the red nose and lips of one of the cows nearly light up as the sun peeked out from behind the clouds.
It was a long shot to be able to show the antics of this particular cow because we were inside the barn loading hay onto the Gator when she was spotted ‘looking good.’
Her nose must have been damp before she stuck her head into the mineral tub. The result looked like perfectly applied lipstick.
Looking good Topanga, looking real good.
The little heifer Zion is more than a month old now and believes she is the queen of her domain. She has been growing quickly and the fluffy coat she was born with is serving her well.
Here she is still blowing steam as she zips into the barn with her mom at feeding time. As soon as Topanga has had her fill, they head back out to the field to nibble on grass spears that are sticking up through the skiff of snow and ice that is on the ground.
The first time Topanga and her baby Zion showed up with the main herd on the outside of their nursery field, we had assumed that the baby was laying next to the fence and when she got up found she was on the wrong side (it happens with newborns all the time).
With Topanga being such a good mother, she would have found a way to get over, around or through the fence to get to her baby. We looked for her escape spot but could not locate it and figured the breakout was an anomaly. So we put the pair back into the nursery field and forgot about a closer fence inspection. Continue reading
Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise, large animals are not as dumb as they may seem. Although normally they abide by the rules of the farm and get along with their fellow critters(including humans), they can also be quite conniving when they decide to mutiny or if they just get into a ‘mood’. Continue reading