Wednesday, September 1, 2021

Freelance cows

We looked out our window last week and saw a cow grazing on the road.

This animal was part of a small herd that had taken to wandering around the neighborhood. No one seemed to know who they belonged to. Freelance cows.

They spent two or three days hanging around our property. We have nothing they can damage and it was rather pleasant to look out a window and see cattle in the pasture. But late one evening we realized they probably hadn't had any water for quite some time, so Don and I muscled a water tank into the driveway and filled it for them.

These animals were tagged and healthy, so we knew the owners would track them down eventually.

Meanwhile they played peek-a-boo all around our house.

Seeing them in the pasture made us realize how much we're looking forward to getting our own livestock in the spring.

They wandered around in front of the shop, investigating various things left outside but causing no damage.

Other times they contentedly chewed their cud, seemingly unconcerned to be bedding down in a strange location.

But all good things must come to an end. We managed to track down the owners, who assured us the fence through which the livestock had escaped was now fixed and they could fetch the animals home. They showed up with several extra hands to round the animals up.

I donned boots (against clinging burs in the pasture) and herded the animals out of the lower pasture and into the driveway, where Don stationed himself to make sure they didn't cross over into the upper pasture. We're experienced hands at this and had the cattle rounded up within a few minutes.

The owners were very pleasant people and fun to talk with. They stationed themselves on the road, prepared to slowly drive the animals back to their home pasture a mile or so distant.

Here the cattle are already out of sight around a bend in the road -- watched by some horses -- as the owners followed behind. And that's the last we saw of the freelance cows.

We also decided it's nice to live in a place where freelance animals (horses or cows) aren't cause for hysterical alarm, but just something that happens from time to time.

12 comments:

  1. At our last home we had a pasture that contained some ex rodeo cows. The fence was pathetic and they would sometimes step over it and get into our back yard / empty lot next door. We shooed them back a number of times but the pasture owners never fixed the fence. After doing this a number of times one of our neighbors, who was fed up, said lets just chase them the other way next time and then call the sheriff. That is what we did and it worked they moved the cows. Never did fix the fence.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Up in Kodiak the indians have grazing rights to the whole island. Herd of cows are a common sight in the Coast Guard military housing, the occupants often roused at zero-dark-thirty by moo's instead of roosters. Sometimes half the herd would find its way onto the base while the others worked the fence line from the outside. At some point they'd realize their herd was split and would just sit there wondering what to do. One of the Coasties would eventually have to drive the herd back to the main gate. The only downside to this setup is that cow pies know no fences either...

    ReplyDelete
  3. Thank you very much. That was a really pleasant read. - Keith

    ReplyDelete
  4. In Montana, loose animals were a great excuse (as if they needed one) to round up the loner, or possibly a herd,on horseback and herd it back home.What joy! Real Cowboy stuff!! In Florida, loose animals are a great excuse (as if they need one) to get as many neighbors involved on 4 wheelers, to round up and herd home. Too much fun!! This is particularly exciting for the ten year old crowd, who start driving all manner of farm equipment at an early age!

    ReplyDelete
  5. Here on Long Island we have a bull who was headed for slaughter but broke free and hasn't been seen since! I cannot imagine where a bull is hiding on this overpopulated island.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I was going to say; I grew up on Long Island; Merrick, to be exact, and was wondering how a bull could hide on that sandbar... even on the East End!

      Delete
  6. Once upon a time at my Aunt's place, which has become my parents', a buffalo just showed up one day. He was there about a month, hanging out with the cattle. He seemed to have no particular need to go anywhere or break through fencing or be particularly destructive. Eventually his owner was located and came by to collect him.

    ReplyDelete
  7. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  8. I live on the outskirts of a town of 60,000, and one of the residents in a neighborhood a good mile away as the crow flies routinely has to gather her pet pigs from their morning constitutional. She's an older lady, and I'm not sure whether she has the materials or experience to fix whatever fence they've escaped from. Though I don't mind seeing them--they're friendly enough--we live on a very busy road and don't want to see them hurt.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Would you please indicate the general area where you now live. Knowing the general area allows me to correlate gardening comments you make with my area.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. North Idaho. That's the closest I'll get.

      - Patrice

      Delete
  10. I like to stop and watch cows. I would love to have cows around for a bit.

    ReplyDelete