This post is actually from Tuesday April 28th of this past week. It’s taken me this long to recover from all the days adventures. I mentioned before that we had partnered with our neighbor to have our cows graze his land. We were able to add about 13 acres of grazing land to our rotation by this partnership, which lets us add about 10 cows to our herd. That is 10 cows that we will finish each year going forward, or about 5000 pounds of juicy, beefy goodness that will be in the freezer in 2016 for you to purchase. Of course, moving to a new facility isn’t without its issues.
For one, it’s scary to take all your cows and have them out of sight for the first time, EVER. We’ve never not had cows on our farm and it was unnerving. Second, we are set up to handle everything here on our farm. We know where stuff goes, where the slick spots are, which tractor to use for what and which attachment fits what. Moving to a new place means a whole new setup and that can cause issues however for the few weeks the cows were at the neighbors farm, things were pretty well. Of course, I knew that getting the cow back might not be as easy as getting them over there. You see, we have a corral and a loading ramp. Over there, they have a more open corral but no loading ramp. Also, we can rotate our cows such that the last paddock empties directly into the corral so when it’s time to move, the cows are right there. At the neighbors, the cows ended up with the run of the entire pasture, including the woods. That meant we had to convince all the cows to go into a small paddock where we could then load them. We were able to get about 80% of the cows in, but the rest balked and would have to be phase II.
Once most of the cows were loaded and delivered back to our farm, we had two cows who had dropped new calves while over there that had elected to stay separate from everyone else. No surprise. New mom’s aren’t too hard to handle as they will stay with their calves so it was just a matter of walking them up, getting them loaded, and we were done for the day with cows. This was important because I was supposed to be leaving for New Bern and I had someone waiting on me.
When we went to get the two moms, we noticed that one of the new steers was with them. Odd, I thought we got all the steers up already. As we got within 100 feet of the cows, they took off with the steer in the lead. It’s very odd for our cows to be jumpy. Usually you can walk right up to them. This steer was acting very much like the Ninja Cow, running well before there was any reason to and always going the wrong direction from what you wanted him to do. We didn’t have a Gator like normal so Miguel and I were on foot. Our neighbor had his four wheeler so I told him to go get this cow and herd him back. Very quickly this faux Ninja gave our neighbor a lesson in what it’s like to herd a non-herdable cow. While we were chasing this cow all over the pasture, we came across Dottie, our milk cow, who was in the woods with her brand new calf. That made a total of three calves who were born at the neighbors. Of course he claimed it was the water over there and took all the credit, which I of course agreed with. Funny. Normally we have nice pictures of our new calves because everyone is lounging in the grass. But this time we were chasing this stupid steer so all I got was this.
Two black cows, in the black shadows. If only I could have taken it in the dark, in the fog. Let’s try one more.
The South end of a North bound momma. I’ll try and get some better pics today and get them posted. The little calf is doing great. He’s certainly not lacking for milk.
So we got all the moms loaded, along with their calves and brought them back to the farm. We left the pretend Ninja cow steer in the pasture for the final effort. The rest of the story will be another post.