Never underestimate a cow
Rosie’s trajectory is breeding beef calves. We booked her in on a holiday romance with the bull who lives down the road.
We move her and the calf regularly and they come to us when we call them for heroin bread treats.
We laboured under the misapprehension that this would bode well for moving Rosie into the race the night before the day of her collection.
The calf galloped into the race lured by bread. Spurred on by our success we were aghast it didn’t extend to Rosie who was on to us within minutes. Cow wrangling tips are replete with advice on taking it slow. With time, bread, and coaxing, we got her in and retired to the kitchen to pour a well-deserved glass of vino. Everything was looking good for a laid back Saturday night, until we noticed Rosie walk past the window. She’d managed to haul her rotund cow body on her miniature cow legs up over the fence. The calf spent the night inside the race however, happily munching to her heart’s content on the hay left from our coaxing. Rosie spent the night on the other side of the fencing encouraging the calf, ‘Moo, moo, if I can do it, you can too!’ Don’t think they don’t talk to each other and that they don’t understand humans are predators. Animoolz are not stupid.
With much perseverance, we managed Rosie back in the race again the next morning only this time to personally witness her climbing skills. I’d like to say hurdle but there was no run up, she literally lifted her short little legs up and clambered over the fence.
I don’t blame Rosie for her rebellion. I mean the sheep never came back right? Cows have good memories. And also, have you seen the size of bulls? Holiday romances may not be everything they’re cracked up to be. Now I’m on what I hope is not a fruitless mission to train her back up to the race. There are no treats without moving her through the paddocks and treats are only delivered nearby the race. The Lovely Deputy has a different approach. He’s going to try the mechanical option and build a new fence, reducing the size of the top paddock. If that doesn’t work then it looks like we’ll electrify the entire top paddock and invite a new suitor named Barnie the Bull over for a while.
Let’s hope one of these strategies work. Rosie is not a pet.
We’ve lost three chickens in our time on #blissfarm to what we thought were gosshawks. It was a combination of insufficient critical mass and an AWOL rooster. The Lovely Deputy then surmised that a crow was responsible. A theory proven the day after his 50th birthday when we were rudely awoken to the sound of a murder attempt on yet another chicken. There we were half dressed and hung over scaring off a crow and trying to save the chickens.
After some consternation he decided on a chicken run from the coop up the embankment to the orchard already home to Wheezer the escapee rooster and a couple of girls. The run was constructed, a fence paling cut out and a brick from the coop removed. One by one they popped out of the coop and slowly but surely headed up to the orchard. Each girl received a special welcome from Wheezer standing guard over the run’s opening into the orchard. The Lovely Deputy watched them ascend from below. I stood in the orchard and watched each pop in and to my horror, Wheezer do his business. The Lovely Deputy kept calling out reassurances, ‘It’s natural’.
Half a dozen of the pullets were big enough to go from the quail coop to the chicken coop this week. The first night they clung together like they were still little chicks in a huddle against the cement wall. The second night they’d migrated to a bale of hay and were still huddled together. There’s safety in numbers. Jersey was the first to arrive back to roost that evening, popped through the doorway and promptly scampered over to give them all a peck and made a raucous. We’ll see if they’ve managed to make it to the bottom rung of the roost yet. The animal kingdom is a tough gig.