Thursday, May 23, 2013

Loose livestock

Up to this point, the livestock have been confined to the wooded side of our property. This is where they stay for the winter (it's accessible from the barn for easy feeding), but as spring has emerged along with green grass -- which means we're feeding less --the critters have been eating down the grass in the woods pretty rapidly.

Before putting them in the pasture for the summer, we decided to let the livestock loose in the driveway area in order to crop down the grass (less work for us -- we don't have to mow or weedwack). They could also eat down the triangle pasture where we had grown wheat last summer. It's fallow this year, so keeping it trimmed would be nice.

Before letting everyone loose, however, we needed to cordon off the garden, the barn, and the end of the triangle pasture (where the fence is down). Out came the wonderful trusty cattle panels, moved from one spot to another (in this case, reinforcing the fence near the bull pen).

Here's the tip of the triangle pasture, now fenced off.

Driveway gate, closed.

Garden, cordoned off.

Barn, off limits.

Then we opened up the gates from the wooded side, and let the animals roam.

Brit, of course, was the first one through, cropping the fresh green grass as she went.

But she was under the mistaken impression that she was being allowed into the pasture. Nope.

Same with the other critters. Nope.

But that's okay -- lots of yummy fresh grass on this side.

What is it about dirt piles that makes animals want to rub in it?

Cow kisses between Raven and her daughter Shadow.

Early the next morning, the animals discovered the triangle pasture.

This drove the dogs nuts since the pasture is right next to the yard.

This morning Ruby met Leto through the gate. Very cute.

We'll keep the critters in the driveway area for about another week or so, before releasing them into the pasture. For that amount of time we'll have to watch our step for all the "landmines" in our way!


  1. "Landmines" - love it! I have "Chicken Sheets"...

  2. These are some mighty good managers of steep hillsides that can't be mowed, and pretty tasty, too.


  3. Just wondering, how long do those dogs last? It's been my experience that bigger dogs don't live as long, and she's huge. Just couldn't help but wonder.

  4. Keeping livestock penned up is like carrying water in a paper sack. If there's a crease anywhere you can rest assured the water will find a way to drip out.


  5. Great Pyrs have a longer lifespan than most large dogs. They are wonderful guardians and loving pets. They also do not eat huge quanities of food-most people asssume they do. If allowed to stay outside to guard the farm and its animals, they are nocturnal and will patrol all night. We bring our solid white, Opal in at night to keep her from keeping the neighbors awake. She can be solid red from our clay soil and will shed all the dirt and be white again. Our cats walk under her and she helps me herd the chickens in if they escape-too many wild critter hazzards to let them free range.