- Don't enter the cow's pasture empty handed, especially if they are hungry and you are wearing a red hat
- You can't run very fast when you're wearing snowshoes in 6 inches of powder
This afternoon I wanted to check on the cow's hay because it looked kind of low in the feeder (from a distance). I usually work in the office but I am more than happy to bring buckets of food to the animals on the weekends or other days off - I am in charge of the animals for only a couple days a month. The feeder is across the creek from the bunker (what I like to call their table) where I put their delicious organic grain.
(okay, okay, I'm trying to sell you some beef. We still have beef for sale. They are rotationally grazed, finished on organic grain. Buy some! Here! Next delivery in January!)
So I decided to walk over across the water in my snowshoes for a look-see at the feeder, 'cos Richard said Dan had put 10 bales of hay in the feeder the other day, but I thought it looked low (from a distance).
As I opened the gate, the cows came close 'cos they know me as good for feed by now. I used to think it was cute how they scampered around like puppies when I came in with buckets of food. I bypassed the "table" and they followed me across the creek. There are definitely leaders and followers with these cows. The first two led the way across the creek, right behind me, while the others followed more slowly. Then the slow ones paused. I stepped to the side and I tried to coax them on because I didn't really want to follow them too close behind, much less cross their path. But they stopped. So I crossed behind two, ahead of four cows. I kept telling them that it wasn't lunch time, I was just checking in, look - no bucket of food, but they kept advancing. I made a wide berth around the feeder 'cos it was very poopy and I could see clearly that it wasn't very full of hay. They sped up and #13 gave me the eye. She pawed the ground, looked at my head/red hat and kicked up her heels!
(This is that same feeder, found down stream, after the flood.)
As I made my wide berth, I realized I was right next to another food bunker and I had no food! The cows kept coming! I kept thinking about how bears and dogs can smell fear and tried to remain calm as I made my way to the next fence, about 25 feet away (which I think, I hope, is electric). As I said, one cannot run wearing snow shoes in six inches of powder. I moved as quickly as I could and I rolled under the fence and the cows kept coming. As I walked away from the fence (way more slowly than I would have liked), I saw #13 sniffing the wire & under the wire and make the wise decision to not try to follow. I ended up taking the long way home, across the creek again & across the fields. It took me almost an hour!
Richard and I went out later to give the cows some hay & that was another (reluctant) adventure. He pushed 8 bales out of the barn & we piled them into the bucket of the skid steer (like a Bobcat or Mustang - a machine with a fork or a bucket for carrying stuff. Ours has chains on the back wheels now, for getting around in the snow). I met him Richard at the gate & reluctantly got on top of the bales for the trip/ride to the feeder. (I didn't want to walk with the cows!) The snow was very, perhaps unexpectedly, deep & Richard struggled up the creek bank while I hung on for dear life, with cows looking on. OMG I was so scared!
We got to the feeder bin & I had to cut the rope binding the bales & pile it into the feeder below. The cows were at it in no time. I was still up in the skid steer bucket when I took this pic.
I'm scared of the cows now. Kinda like the goats - never turn your back. Don't laugh! I'm a city girl. This is all so very new to me.
Merry Xmas & Happy New Year!