Country Living Series

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Spreading their wings...er, legs

Every year our neighbor who owns the 20-acre parcel adjacent to us allows us to run our cattle on his land in late summer. The beasties have pretty much eaten down both the woods and the pasture on our side of the fence, so it was time to give them fresh grass.

But first we had to walk his property lines and check the fences.


We saw lots of spots where deer bed down for the night.


Long stretches of fence have been pushed down by the neighbor's horses, reaching for the taller grass on the other side (which, as everyone knows, is always greener). We'll run a high-tension wire and patch these areas.


Pretty view.


This parcel has a pond, so the livestock will have water.


Checking for tadpoles. (Too late in the season -- they're all little frogs by now.)


We exited through a gate on the adjacent side of the property, onto the road.


The critters in the distance have no idea they're about to be released into greener pastures.


So when we were ready to let the cows onto the neighbor's land, I started walking toward the adjoining gate and yelled "Bossy bossy bossy bossy bossy!" -- which is our general "herd call." (Named after our first cow we had in Oregon.)

Brit came immediately.


Most of the older animals know what was up, and fell in line right away.



In fact, they came so quickly they got ahead of me. "C'mon! Open the gate already!"


Brit was the first through, of course.


The others swiftly followed.




Freedom!!!


Younger and/or newer members of the herd wondered what was going on.


But they quickly caught on. "Wait for me!!"


Lilly and her bull calf Atlas were the last ones through the gate.



We'll keep the beasties on the neighbor's land until early October or so. They come up to say hi about once or twice a day, but meanwhile it's nice to know they have plenty of grazing, shade, and water.

10 comments:

  1. How is the new pasture better? It looks browner. Is there more nutrition in the longer grass? Thanks.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's brownish at the top, but nice and green lower down. Good stuff.

      - Patrice

      Delete
  2. That is a wonderful piece of property, truly.
    Great that your neighbor lets you use it, too.
    Have a blessed week!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Unless you have a opsec issue, do you mind letting us know the size of your herds? Just curious on how many you're managing. We are small now and are looking to scale up next year. I know a lot of times letting 5 head thru the gate is the same as letting 10 thru, have you had any issues with more animals?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Since butchering Smokey this week, we now have eleven head of cattle (and one horse). Probably a bit too much for our land, which is why we're grateful to be able to lease the twenty acres from our neighbor for a couple months.

      - Patrice

      Delete
  4. Did you start with Matilda and one Dexter?

    A. McSp

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. No, actually we started with our two herd matrons, Ruby and Jet (Dexters), and later a Dexter bull named Zeus. We brought in Matilda (Jersey) five years later. Amazing how easy it becomes to collect animals.

      - Patrice

      Delete
  5. Great looking livestock.

    A.McSp

    ReplyDelete
  6. Greetings. Love the blog. Question about Cows. How do you, for lack of a better word, "train" them. Are they as intelligent as a dog? Or are they more of 800 pounds of curious beef? Can you ride one like a horse? Thank you.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Cattle can be trained any number of ways, with patience and time. As for riding one (like a horse)... well, it's been done, but not very often. Cows don't have the skeletal system or musculature (or speed) horses have to carry heavy loads.

      - Patrice

      Delete