Can’t you just hear that old cowboy song . . . I’m back in the saddle again. Well anyway, we don’t have a saddle – or a horse – so that is really a euphemism for both of us finally getting over the nasty germ we picked up after Christmas. It has been a long few weeks with neither of us feeling well at all. As I’m sure you all know, life doesn’t stop just because you are not feeling great, so lots has been going on and I will try to get you caught up.
We had snow soon after we arrived back; enough on the ground to keep the cattle from being able to graze at all. At this same time there was not a lot of sunshine to keep our solar-powered electric fence fully charged, and the cattle – one in particular – decided to explore outside the fence.
Was it the cattle we brought from the range in Montana who yearned to return to the freedom of the wide open spaces they remember? No. It was sweet little Daisy, born in our own pasture last May. Our very first calf.
Sweet little Daisy has turned into a heifer with attitude. I don’t know what the bovine term for a teenager is, but that is what she reminds me of.
It took us longer than it should to figure out how she kept getting out, and in the meantime she made the most of her opportunity. She treated Marjorie’s yard as her own personal playground and helped herself to all the shrubs. Bamboo was her favorite.
Luckily we had hay in the trailer and my SUV made it through the snow with no problem, so I was able to keep the little herd fed while Rick was sick.
And when Daisy got out – again – she went back into her pasture pretty easily with fresh hay as an enticement.
Of course, this was pretty much rewarding her bad behavior and it turns out that doesn’t work long term with cattle any better than with children. So, Daisy earned herself a trip to the penitentiary. Actually just a trip home to our barbed wire enclosed pasture. She didn’t much appreciate it, and did her best to escape there too, but the barbed wire is pretty sturdy so she finally gave up. At least she gave up trying to escape. She still shows us her discontent vocally very often. I believe the correct term for this would be “bellering” because that is exactly what she sounds like. And for such a small heifer she is quite loud. Poor Mildred and Dolly – the other two heifers from Montana – are probably wondering what they did to deserve having to put up with Daisy.
When Rick felt just a little better, we got the trailer hooked up and maneuvered through the snowy slush as we moved all three of the young heifers back to our house. Then we took the trailer still half-filled with hay back to Marjorie’s pasture.
The cattle weren’t the only ones who had issues in the snow. The chickens didn’t care much for it either.
They don’t like to get their feet in the cold stuff so they stay perched on rocks in the orchard as much as possible.
Two of the dumb clucks stayed out there even after dark. They wouldn’t walk in the snow to get back to the safety and warmth of the chicken coop. I ended up having to carry them in. I seriously contemplated leaving them out there to freeze or be critter bait, but then I remembered all the eggs they lay and decided to be generous. I certainly do understand now why someone who is cowardly is called a “chicken.” Brave, resourceful creatures they are not.