All our cattle are on the summer pastures now and they are enjoying the fresh, green grass, blue skies and warm sunshine.
Depending on the size of the field they are in, we rotate them every few days onto fresh grass. The first time we moved them this spring they were all a bit skittish and unsure. Now they know the drill and are lined up at the gate waiting to go.
We open the gate and walk over to the next field and the cattle follow along – and sometimes rush on ahead and you just close the gate behind them. It is pretty easy for everyone involved.
The fresh grass is nature’s ideal food for bovines and they seem to know it.
The hardest thing about summer pastures is keeping the grass around the fencelines under control.
We use solar chargers for our electric fencing and keeping the grass down around them is a regular task. We get over 90 inches of rain per year so the grass – and everything else – grows pretty fast. We are planning to clear the old, overgrown fence line in this section soon so the cattle can graze this area too. In the meantime Rick and Alex keep it mowed down so the grass doesn’t short out the fence.
Since we are around them so much, our cattle are pretty tame and friendly. When they see us, they all come over for a rub or a scratch – including our bull Ox.
It seems like everyone wants to be petted. Sometimes they follow demanding attention when you are trying to get something else done. Usually it is just easiest to stop the rub them, then you can get back to whatever you were doing.
The wobbly newborn calves of a couple of months ago are now sturdy little critters running with the herd.
They run and play and nibble on grass – but they don’t get too far from one of the Mama’s. The cows have a co-op approach to the calves. One of them is usually close by but the other may be clear across the field, then after a while they trade-off. They lick each other’s calves and generally treat both of them as their own. The only thing that is very specific to each cow and calf pair is nursing. I’ve never seen them nurse each other’s baby.