Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Moving Cows

During the spring/summer, when the grass growth is really coming along, our cows get moved from pasture to pasture quite a lot. This past weekend, we moved the cows to a new pasture. This time, they had to cross blacktop. Sometimes it can be a bit tricky because there are usually a few yearlings that haven't had this experience yet. Sometimes they can get a little "flighty" when they have to cross unknown territory.   Each of us get in position on the outside of the pasture to get ready to try to guide or point  them in the right direction.  We've learned over the years, it's best not to get all excited if one decides to run in the opposite direction that it's supposed to be going ( I'm usually the one that gets all nervous when this happens).  The cows respond better to a slow calm hooting and hollering.  When they get rushed, that's when things can get tricky. 

They're very smart though.  They know when Shane calls them and starts leading them that it's a good thing. They follow him almost anywhere (for the most part).  There will be a lead cow at the front who will make that first step on the road and the rest start to follow.  We also hold our positions to make sure to let the traffic, that comes through the area, know when it's safe to cross.  This particular day we waited until later in the evening when traffic seems pretty low. We didn't have to direct any traffic, so I'd say it was the perfect time!

Notice in this picture below, there are a few calves at the end.  They are the hardest sometimes.  They get separated from their mommas and start to fret when the majority of the herd has crossed the road.  Luckily, we had a couple of cows with new calves in the back of the group, so all of the calves that had bunched up at the end ended up falling right in line with those cows.  It worked wonderful!  A lot of times the border collies have to be used to gather them up and herd them across the road.  On this day, it wasn't necessary.

This was taken once they arrived in their new pasture.  As you can see the grass is very tall.  Shane's plan is the cows will help this pasture by knocking down some seed and adding their ever-so-lovely fertilizer :)

Hope you all are having a great week!

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

The Farm is Expanding!

I may have mentioned a while back on the blog that we were able to purchase some property that joined our back pasture. Shane had been in the process of having the perimeter cleaned so we would be able to start working on fencing it in last summer. After his accident, all of that had to be put on hold. Once he recovered and had the go ahead from his doctor, that was one of the main things on Shane's to-do list. He wanted to get all of the new area fenced in. It was a project that would be done in partnership with the NRCS. We (Shane, myself, Dillon, Mallory, & and my mother-in-law Beverly ) would tackle this project nearly every weekend.

This is one of the areas on the property, before any fence work had been done, to give you an idea of how it's transforming.  This was a driveway that once led to an area that had had a mobile home set up.  That's all that was cleared away.

This is a photo that I snapped of Shane a couple of weekends ago bush hogging this area. He had the larger "bat wing" working on this particular day and then he had to use the smaller bush hog because the larger had broken down and had to be repaired.


This is the same area that was shown in the first picture.  The whole area is now surrounded by netwire.  There are goats in this particular pasture at the present time, but they're always out deep in the brush unable to be photographed.  They've been working on this area, but we'd had a lot of rain and it just has been growing like crazy.  It bothers Shane when he's got a vision and it hasn't come to fruition yet.  He is steadily working himself from day to almost dark on this area any free chance he gets in hopes that it will be a nice clean pasture one day.  I'm most certain he will have that accomplished sooner than you can imagine.  

I will try to find more old photos of the land and show you a better comparison.  This just is one area.  In my opinion, it's amazing the transformation that has taken place!