Moooving the Cows!
During this time of year, it's important for us to keep the cows on fresh grass, and we have to move them often because they eat so much of it.
We're continuously searching and finding more grass for them, and sometimes searching and finding the cows themselves. This time, we found them enjoying the view from this beautiful hilltop next to the farm.
Here we are bringing them back down the hill with a bale of Alfalfa in the back of the ATV for incentive. With cows, we either have to pull them or push them to put them where we want them. So we first pull them as far as we can (Because it's usually easier that way) until they get out of line, and then we have to start pushing them. We pull them with a cattle "call" and some sweet feed, and we push them by walking toward them to lightly apply "pressure" for them to move.
Last month, the cows were feasting on neighboring pastures, so we needed to bring them back onto Our Lady's Ranch by moving them down the road and through the front gates. "Easier said than done"...
As soon as we got them through the gates, they saw fresh grass and took off running for it. Aaauugh!!! "All hands on deck!" Fortunately, there were enough of us to move them back in line to continue the march further down the road into the pasture we wanted for them.
All the kids have learned how to push a cow along by staying behind its front shoulder. When you get in front of its shoulder it will start to turn or go backwards. Cows are so much easier to move than sheep because you can pretty well steer them around with that shoulder technique. But with sheep, you have to pretend that you want them to go in the opposite direction, because they will always go where you don't want them to go.
Next was a tight squeeze between two fences where they tried to break ranks again. Thankfully, we're slightly smarter than the cows (sometimes) so we anticipated their move and got to the right place at the right time - to thwart their maneuver (that's maneuver, not manure).
Aaaahhh - Back to Our Lady's Ranch with fresh new grass and peaceful streams. "You lead me beside restful waters"... for the cows and us!!!