Cows on the run

The cows arrived yesterday and are giving us a run for our money. One of them was pretty spooked by the ride and ended up kicking the Cow People’s Son* and then getting out of the fence. Unknown to us, Aidan had gone up the hill to see them and then came back down the hill to where we were all standing around, talking. Scott asked if the cows were OK, and Aidan said that one had gotten out of the fence. It took a while to get her back, probably about 2 hours. She had gone through our cornfield, through a hole in the barbed-wire fence, and through the neighbor’s fields and further. I’m not sure how far she went, but Scott the Farmer and the Cow People found her, with the help of a neighbor and his ATV. Needless to say, we did not make it to Peoria last night as we had planned, but we did have a nice family dinner and watched Star Wars: Episode III.

This morning I checked on the cows right away. I could see them from inside the playroom so it was easy to check on them. A little later, Tim and I walked the fence and they were there and seemed fine, if a bit wary of us. Tim and I were getting ready to put the chickens out in the garden when Aidan told us the cows got out of the fence. He had come outside and, unknown to us, went up the hill to see the cows. Tim and I went tromping (tromping is really very different from walking, as I’ve discovered) off in the really soggy cornfields and found them. They had not gone through the hole in the fence, but had gone along the fence into a wooded area. The mud worked to our advantage because Tim could see their tracks, which was how we found them. We kept an eye on them while we waited for Scott the Farmer to get here.

Scott arrived with a 5 year old boy, his girlfriend’s grandson, I think, and came up to the corn field to find us. Tim had gone to try to fix the hole in the fence as best he could, considering it was really rusted barbed wire. Scott asked me to go stand by that section of the fence while he and Tim herded them back towards the corn field. Well, the next thing I know, Scott is standing in the neighbor’s field asking me to not respond to him, but to undo the fix Tim had done and then walk to the house. So I got home and changed out of my wet shoes, socks, and pants and waited. Tim called on his cell phone to tell us that Scott was getting close with the cows and that they were skittish, so we needed to stay in the house. Scott got the cows back in, but then the cows got spooked by Scott’s 5 year old friend again. Scott had to take him home because he was cold and wet and has a cough.

Anyway, while Tim and I were watching the cows in the woods, we were thinking that somehow Aidan must have spooked the cows. At first, it seems funny to think that a 5 year old boy could scare two cows, but I am sure that is part of what has happened. Maybe he was moving too fast or was making noise or was thinking of his future hamburgers. Whatever it was, they were  scared of him, I’m sure of it. Yesterday, none of the adults realized he had followed the cows up the hill until he got back. At first, I thought it was good that he had gone so that we knew right away that one of the cows had gotten out. Now, I think maybe that was part of why one ran out (not to mention the fact that he shouldn’t have been alone near the cows since they were stressed out and could have hurt him). Today, I also didn’t know he had gone up to see the cows and again he came back to tell us they were gone. So, now we told him that for his own safety he needs to go with one of us.

The other reason they have gotten out is because of the electric fence. Apparently Aidan touched the fence yesterday and said it didn’t hurt too much. I have no idea why he touched the fence since he fully understands that it is electrified and will hurt him, but the fact that he did made Scott think the solar charger for the fence is not sending out enough amps. We have checked the fence for voltage and it is fine. Another thing Scott noticed while herding the cows was that one of the cows put its nose to the fence and got a little shock. I guess the cow’s wet nose should have gotten more than that!  

So as it stands right now, Scott came back out and hooked up a different charger and he and Tim pounded some fence posts a little further into the ground. They checked on the cows and found them inside the fence. Hooray! So all is well for now and if the cows try to get out again they should get a good shock. By the way, they have been trained on this kind of fence, so I’m guessing they must have been pretty spooked to run like that. We’ll have to make sure the kids don’t go close for a while and that we take things slow until they are used to us.

*I’m calling them the Cow People because I don’t want to use their names and because I don’t know what else to call them. The check was made out to the LastName Cattle Company, but it’s a small family operation, not like most people think of a cattle company. It was a husband and wife and their son who sold us the cows and delivered them.

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One Response to “Cows on the run”

  1. Those darn cows « A Hippy Girl in the Country Says:

    […] A Hippy Girl in the Country chickens, gardening, and striving for sustainable living. « Cows on the run […]

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