Thursday, November 4, 2010

Moving cattle

Ruby, one of our herd matriarchs, recently discovered she could get into the wheat field merely by stepping over a low patch in the fence.  Oh joy.

Okay okay, we knew we had to fix that fence anyway, and clearly it was time.  Once a cow discovers the way through/over/under/around a fence, she won't quit until the fence is fixed.

Ruby proved this in spades by jumping the fence so quickly (three times in a row) after shooing her back into the pasture that we knew it was time to move the critters back into the woods.

Our acreage is roughly split in two, with the house and barn in the middle.  One side is treeless pasture.  This is the summer rotate-able grazing area.  The other side of the property is woods interspersed with some grass.  We put the animals in the woods during winter months because they have feedboxes, barn access, and trees for partial protection from the weather.

Here is the rest of the herd, wondering why Ruby's outside but they're not.

So we moved them over to the wooded side, where they reacquainted themselves with the mineral block in the barn.

Here's Gimli, our bull, looking grumpy as usual.

The animals immediately had their heads buried in what grass was available this late in the season.

Since it hadn't been used all summer, the water tank needed some serious scrubbing...

...but soon it was ready to fill.  We'll put a tank warmer in during cold weather to keep the water from freezing.

However, all this new territory didn't keep the calves from slipping through the fences onto the road, of course.

Late on a foggy evening, I had to shoo them back through the fence to their waiting mamas.

Fences. Ah, a whole 'nother blog post....


  1. my brother in laws calves are always pointing out the weaknesses in his fencing..while i get plenty of exercise chasing them back into their own pasture with a golf club. be grateful that you do not have fence jumping mules! my father in law had two mules trained specifically to jump fences while hunting coons.

  2. But living in a rural area is supposed to be so simple and easy. Isn't it?? Ah, the simple life!!

    A lifetime ago, I was married and we raised a few head of cattle. We didn't eat them, we raised them for sale (that was a joke, they never did pay for themselves), and annually we'd have to move them into a truck for transport to the auction yard. That was total chaos. The animals didn't want to get on the trucks, there weren't enough of us to keep them from breaking through our outstretched arms, and they were running off the fat each time they made a run for freedom. We would have been miles ahead if we had done as you do - raised them for personal consumption. I admire your hard work, I truly do.

    Anonymous Patriot

  3. Oh Ruuuby.. Don't take your calves to town. My apologies to Kenny Rogers but I couldn't resist. I know at least one cattleman who tells me that cows may well be some of the most dumb critters to grace God's green earth. They are delicious in spite of that notion. They are worth the effort.