Thursday, June 12, 2014

Cows on a tear.




"Old Barley Field" it is wheat but Ted used to grow barley when they first moved back hence the name.

The wheat fields look good.  They are all headed out and starting to dry out and turning gold.  I had to repair this high tension smooth wire fence as the bull worked at it and tore two strands out.  He caused the clamped connections to pull apart.  He has also been pushing on the fence in an attempt to reach the green wheat.  He cannot reach it but that has not been stopping the effort. So after repairing the two strands I went down the row and straightened the T posts.  They are pretty far apart almost 20 feet between posts so I will be added another T post between each post in the future.  This should stabilize it enough hopefully to deter him.  Otherwise, I will have to add about three wooden posts over the entire length to help with the leaning problem.  Everyone keeps telling me I should just string electric wire.  I would have to cut up the wild rose bushes to keep the system from grounding out all the time and I am unwilling to do that. 

We had some friends need the services of a small bull.  They have a different breed of small cow, not Dexter, but didn't care about the breed as long as he was friendly and not too large.  Ours is friendly, definitely not overly aggressive.  The plan was we would trade a ton of hay and they will keep him all summer.   This works out perfectly as I don't have to battle him all summer about the fences and every weak point I have missed.  We did warn them that he will test every gate and creek crossing cause he knows they are weak.  They assured us that was not a problem.  They have already had to repair one area of washed out fence they knew about but had not gotten around to yet.  He found it and got out!

We chased the bull and mommas into the barn lot before they got here.  Zeke and I just went out and chased the cows in a circle all the way into the square pen on the first try.  Once they were in the square pen I tried to entice the bull over to the chute with an apple but he was just not buying it.  Plus, I did not like standing that close to all the mommas and babies as the females were starting to give me the stink eye.  So we then chased out all three mommas while I used the square pen gate and then ended up with two babies and the bull in the pen.  I just pushed the gate in towards the animals and made a crack big enough for the calves only and they squirted right through.  We just encouraged the bull down the chute and he got to the trailer looked at it and just jumped in!  We had him loaded and ready to go in less than 20 minutes!  It was amazing.  It looked like we knew exactly what we were doing.  Annmarie, Sarah and Gannon had spent 2.5 hours two days before trying to get those same cows into the barn lot.  Zeke was not helping them and the cows and calves could not get on the same page and kept getting separated and running off. 

Next week we will have to run the mommas into the square pen and chute and band the little babies and ear tag everyone.  We should be okay working from the other side of the chute. 

Tractor work, my favorite view.