Friday, October 3, 2014

Fall cattle roundup

It was time to move the cattle from the pasture side of our property to the wooded side for the winter.

We've had a very dry summer and pasture management will only go so far if there's no rain to renew the fallow pasture, so our property is pretty much eaten down. Each year we lease a neighbor's undeveloped 20 acres for additional grazing, but even this was diminished; so was time to move everyone closer to home and start feeding.

We all took our push poles (long thin PVC pipes we keep outside for convincing cattle to go where we want them to), blocked off the driveway and chicken coop, opened the appropriate gates, and then bellowed "Bossy bossy bossy bossy BOSSY!!!" (This is our universal cattle call.)

Within moments the first critter was through the gate. They know what's up!

We made sure to take a head-count: twelve animals, including the babies.

Everybody paused and buried their head in the grass in the driveway area.

But soon enough we shooed them down into the woods. There's a bit of grazing, but not enough to sustain, so we'll be feeding twice a day.

This is Chuck (left) and Lucy (right). Aren't they purty?

(As a couple of bonus photos, here are some chickens taking dust baths.)

When evening came, we fed the critters. Don just finished making feed boxes under the barn awning, but they weren't quite finished at the time we had to feed, so for the time being we just moved some bales into the feed lot, cut them open, and distributed them.

The animals started lining up at the gate, drooling.

Soon everyone was busy eating.

We're dry at the moment, but wet and snowy conditions will be on the way as autumn advances. The reason Don wanted to build feed boxes is to keep the feed under the awning during the winter, as well as reduce wastage. But for now, the critters are fine eating off the ground.

1 comment:

  1. Hello Patrice,
    I saw a glimpse of Matilda in the back eating the hay. The last I remembered was you pulled her from the herd for her to have her calf nearby. Just wondered if she did have her calf yet? As always, best of luck to your family, your animals and the other guests of your blog.

    Alex in Florida