Monday, June 14, 2010

Moving cattle


The cows were ready to move to different pastures. The best indicator for when they decide they have had enough of being Out South is that a rogue group breaks through the fence and trudges across the CRP to the house. It happened last year, it happened the year before. At least with these old gals they walk home instead of going through the neighbor's fences and disappearing for months (cough... Dirty Seven... cough).

We already had 5 cows and 4 calves at the house so went went Out South and hollered at the rest of them to get moving. The herd responds well to verbal commands; if you are at the head of the herd and moving the direction they need to be going we let out with loud "whooooop" calls. If you are pushing the herd from the side or back the calls are mostly "yip yip" and other short calls unless one cow is being very uncooperative, then the calls have been known to degrade to un-pleasantries.

Once they figure out that we are going to leave the gate open and they get to leave, they get pretty excited and queue right up. We ended up walking the main herd down to the house to join the rogue group. They will stay around a week or so and eat down all the grass around the buildings to reduce fire hazard.

We had one cow (Meanness) that had yet to calve and we joked that the long walk might encourage her to get with the program and calve already. And she did. She had a little black white-faced calf right by the swimming pool yard Sunday afternoon. Jarom and Rachel were out this weekend so that was kind of fun to see a brand new calf in the middle of June especially since they have been so busy the last six months that they missed calving season and branding. Lucky them, it was like Christmas in July only with more afterbirth...

Oh no! We can't end a post on such a mental image. Here's Meanness, giving her characteristic mean face with her little calf peaking through the grass. Aww baby cows!


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