Wednesday, April 27, 2016

It didn't go as planned


Cook top ready for repair

upper gate tight and rock jack filled
I had a plan.  It was a good plan.  Mr. President was coming out to the house today at 0800.  We were going to sort out the two steers and move them into the upper prime pasture, then sort off all the butcher sheep to the same pasture.  This would then allow us to turn the new ram in with the ewes.  Plus, we were going to sort off the no scrotal sack ram, Easy Peasy, then the front lawn could be mowed.  The repair guy was coming at 1300 for the cook top.
So at 0500 it started going South. It started to pour down rain, then after having a conversation with Annmarie it was decided I would need to move the horses and alpaca before I could move the cows and then I needed to move the ram before sorting the sheep. 
Mr. President arrived and we went out, Annmarie had let the horses into the front yard.  We then moved the alpaca into the orchard, this went fairly smoothly as both dogs were in play.  Mouse was on the 30 foot leash. He does better and we were going to move sheep and cows so I figured it would be better to start off with the leash.  I threw out a few leafs of hay in the front barn lot for the cows to entice them into the barn lot.  The only thing left was to go get the cows.  We went by Donna's house and opened the gate for the cows.  As we passed the irrigation pond I noticed a bunch of moss in the pond.  This was guaranteed to plug up the intake on my pump screen.  I need to get some kind of chemical to put the hurt on this situation.  We went down and I attempted to get the cows.  I walked all over the lower field and hillside.  Zeke thought he knew better and had the cows going every which way.  The bull just wanted to holler at the other bulls across the road and not move.  Mouse wanted to chase every thing.  I kept stopping and making each dog listen.  Each command had to be preceded by the dog's name.  I keep getting them used to working independently with different verbal commands for each dog.  It's a difficult concept to get used to.  After Zeke screwed up a few times I had to take Mouse off the safety leash and turn him loose in the trees to go after the cows.  He does much better, he is far more aggressive with the cows and takes no crap.  He will grab their tails and bite them on the backs of the knees when they don't listen.  We finally got them through the first set of fences and out of the school house pasture.
  We stopped to lower the creek crossing and install the ground level cable.  The bull should not be able to lift the panels out of the creek.  We shut the lower gate and went on top of the hill to close that gate.  I had not filled the rock jack yet so we had to spend 45 minutes walking large rocks back and forth to the jack to fill it up.  The rocks kept getting heavier the longer we went on.  Now the cows are locked out of the lower pasture.  The cows have left the lower pasture and are in the vehicle area on their own.  As we stop by the irrigation pond I come up with the brilliant idea to pull the irrigation dam out and let the moss get washed away.  It took two of us to pull the metal gate out of the way.  The water roared through the 2 foot culvert.  It cleared out 75% of the moss in the pond and took almost 10 minutes to empty the pond.  We meandered up toward the barn lot and pushed the cows into the barn lot, it only took a couple of tries.  We sorted off the steers within ten minutes.  It was not too awful, but we needed a spot for the steers so we placed them in the area with the horse stalls.  I called the ram into the back barn lot then we dropped both panels over each end of the ram pasture.  We went and got the sheep and placed them in the ram pasture,  Mouse and Zeke did very well.  It was already 1130 so lunch was in order.  I told Mr. President we could move the steers after lunch,
as it seemed reasonable. 
While eating lunch Sarah calls me to say there is a cow in the front yard, as she is talking to me it runs by our living room window and I hear an exclamation from my partner!  As we were figuring out how to tackle this problem, the second steer leaps into the front yard.   The horses got moved into the third area of the sorting corral and the cows chased into the other two areas of the corral.  We then moved gates around to get the cows into the barn lot.  We tried multiple times to get them into the upper prime field without success, until one finally jumped through the fence.  Damn cows!  I took Zeke and ran down half the field trying to cut the cow off before it joined up with the herd.  No such luck.  Momma found her 12 month old big baby boy!!  So now we had to spend a couple of hours patching and restretching the fence.  We added wooden stays and two more metal T-posts and made the fence animal proof.  I would be surprised if one animal of any kind could get through the fence now.  Repair guy called at 1330, he could not make it and needed to reschedule. 
Annmarie had taken Zeke and Mouse to get the sheep into the barn and start the sorting process.  I went to help after finishing the fence and paying Mr. President.  Halfway through the process our local metal fabricator appeared in the barn to look at our back garden gate we needed made.  I asked him how he knew we were in the barn.  He said he could hear us from the driveway.  Annmarie took him so he would know what we wanted.  Sarah and I sorted.  The no scrotal sack but two testicle boy is too small to wean off  of his mom yet.  We kept 38 ewes to be bred and the other 50 lambs got sorted out, that is a lot of lamb!!  The new ram was so happy!  He just kept running around trying to find a willing ewe, none of them were having any of it initially. 
So this weekend we will have to redo the cows.  Most likely we will put the steers in the corral for about a week with food and water to get them used to not being with their mommas every day.  Hopefully that will help.  I also changed out two of the gate latches with new horseshoe latches.  Our lawn is incredibly high but Mr. President said he will come tackle it on Friday.  I sure hope the weather allows this miracle to happen. 
Look at that beautiful fence repair!