Sunday, September 25, 2011

Greener pastures

Last night I got an email from Tom, owner of the pasture we're leasing, saying he thought we should probably let the herd cross the creek onto the hay pasture, which is luscious and green while the stuff they're on is waning.

We headed over this afternoon so Paul could help Tom unhook the temporary fencing that's kept them out of the precious hay field. (He noted that Xoe had her head through the fence just yesterday, trying to eat what she could reach.)

Paul picked a bucket of little green apples from the tree that hangs partway into our yard and used those as bribes to coax the cattle to cross the creek. It took a while and a lot of bucket shaking, but Xoe knew what was up and came over for more than her fair share. After trying for several minutes to encourage everyone else to come over, we had to give up and go hang new signs. Hunting season is starting in the valley, and we don't want anyone to take the super-faded old "No Hunting" signs as an invitation to take pot shots at our cattle. Paul climbed in the bucket of Tom's tractor and nailed fresh, bold signs way up out of reach from anyone on the ground. (Tom's lived at this property since the '80s and has seen it all, even people stealing the signs to say there weren't any signs up when they shot - or trespassed.)

By the time we finished, Clyde was in the hay field, muching fresh green grass, while Xoe and Roxy continued to search for the little green apples Paul tossed everywhere for them. Sheila and Cowboy would not join them (and we learned today they STILL haven't crossed!).

This grass will tide them over for a bit, at least until Paul and Tom get the other hay field securely fenced. We're very pleased with each animal's condition after 4 months of grass only. If weather permits, we'll leave the cattle there through mid-November and maybe into December, meaning we won't have to dip into our stored hay - or buy haylage - until mid-winter. Yay!

 Paul hanging a sign close to the road.
Cowboy, 17-month old steer (2012 beef),
looking really good on grass only!
Roxanne (L), Xoe (black) and Clyde heading for Paul's apple bucket. (Clyde is our other 17-month old steer, and though lighter-framed than Cowboy, is also looking good for beef.)


Post a Comment

I'd love to know what you have to say. Thanks for visiting!

Related Posts with Thumbnails