Cow adventure (yes, again!)

Yesterday the cows were out again. They weren’t out there waiting for their treat in the morning when Tim left for work. He had to leave early, so it was up to me to feed them in the morning. I didn’t get around to it right away, but I did notice that they were not in sight. Sometimes that just means that they are up at the top of the hill where I can’t see them from the lane or the garden, so I wasn’t too concerned. Then Tim called from work to ask if I had seen the cows, which I hadn’t. He also asked when we last checked the fence. Well, to be perfectly honest, we had not tested the voltage or walked the fence in days. So, I started up the hill to check the fence and the cows. I checked the fence first and I saw the lights flash (the electricity pulses and the meter we have flashed 1-5 or 6 or 7 red lights, depending on the voltage), but only once. I finally figured out that it wasn’t flashing all the way to where I was looking because it was only flashing 2000 volts. I knew something was wrong and continued to walk up the hill where I noticed a big part of the wire was down. I got all the way to the top of the hill and the cows were not there, so I called Scott.

The one smart thing I did was to grab the following things before I went to check: cell phone, voltage checker, walking stick, and bucket of treats, along with my camera, which was not necessary or helpful, but did allow me take some cool pictures. So anyway, I called Scott and he said he would be over soon and that I should follow their tracks. That’s what I did, but I was thinking to myself that they could have been tracks from the last time they got out, or they could be deer tracks because they would look the same to me. I’m not a tracker, obviously. I followed the tracks to the east end of our property, which is where they went the two previous times. It didn’t look like the went through the fence, but I kind of lost the tracks. I went south towards the woods and found a fresh cow pie and a few more tracks, but I didn’t see them. I tried calling them, but they haven’t really started coming to me when I call them and feed them, so they didn’t come.

I was feeling quite dejected and thinking perhaps we are not ready for cows and it’s time to let Scott take them elsewhere. I was feeling quite disgusted with myself for not checking that fence and not being able to find the cows. I stayed in the woods for a while trying to find where the tracks led and calling them. I couldn’t find them, but I did manage to get a few cool pictures.

No idea what this is, but it's cool looking

No idea what this is, but it's cool looking

Fallen Tree, looks like a broken Y

Fallen Tree, looks like a broken Y

Better view of the Broken Y

Better view of the Broken Y

I finally started back toward the house when Scott called to tell me he and Aidan were heading up the hill. We met up and I told him what I had seen and where I thought they had gone. He told me to take Aidan and go back to the house, so that’s what we did. By the time I got back, the phone was ringing and Scott was heading back with the cows. They had come to his call, thankfully. It took him a little while to get them back because they are so tame (I know that sounds funny because they keep escaping, but they are tame!). I went out with him and we fixed the fence and he showed me how to take one of the fiberglass posts out of the spring that attaches it to the wire and how to put it back on. I’m not sure if I could do it again, but I might be able to figure it out. Then we moved some of the posts out a ways because the wire was all stretched out and was too low. Scott checked the fence with his digital voltage meter and it was still low, so we walked the fence. It looked fine and then he realized he had left the gate open. So he closed that and we were done.

I have to say that Scott is possibly the most patient person I have ever met. Not once has he yelled at us or told us we are idiots, even though we have given him cause to do so. We had not checked the fence visually or with the voltage checker in several days. We had gotten lazy. Now, I can’t say for sure that something was wrong with the fence and we didn’t catch it, but I’m guessing that is what happened. It’s also possible that the cows got spooked by something in the night or early morning hours and trampled the fence getting out. We can’t know for sure, but we do know we need to check the fence more regularly. The cows do come to Tim when he calls them, but I need to work on that and do it more consistently. I need to work on my call, which apparently is not loud enough. I need to really work on getting them to come to me when I call them so that if and when they get out again, I can get them without calling Scott.

Eventually we will have more cattle and better fencing and then Scott will be doing all the work and just paying us some rent for the land. That is the plan for the future. For now, though, these two cows are ours and we need to take care of them ourselves. Someday we will probably have a dairy cow, but we have a bit to learn before then, including how to make our own butter, yogurt, and cheese. For now, we need to focus on taking care of these two cows and keeping them in their pasture.

Here are some pictures of the two cows. The muddy head look is the new fashion for cows, by the way.

Sweetie Cow and Bullseye

Sweetie Cow and Bullseye

Sweetie Cow

Sweetie Cow




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2 Responses to “Cow adventure (yes, again!)”

  1. Erin Says:

    Love the pictures of the “muddy head” cows! Wish we could have cows but our neighbors might not be so thrilled about that idea.

    I think the “umbrella plant” might be a mayapple. The only reason I know that (or THINK i know that) is they are one of my favorite wildflowers. The flowers grow (very humbly) UNDER the umbrella part…you have to turn them over to see the blossom (they bloom in may, hence the name 🙂

  2. The cow adventure comes to an end « A Hippy Girl in the Country Says:

    […] cows hadn’t caused us any trouble for a while. There was one time that Sweetie Cow was out and Tom got her back in with the bucket, and another […]

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