Shades of Ireland

Friday, November 30, 2012

Still There!!

I know that I should really have a little more faith in the electric fence but..... I have spent over 25 years trying to keep goats fenced in--- or out! If you don't know what I am talking about, count yourself lucky. Goats are the hardest creatures on God's green earth to keep contained. They are genetically programed to find a way OUT!!

That unreasonable fear has leached over in to all my other livestock raising. When we build a fence or put up a divider, we automatically tend towards over kill. With cattle, I have a double fear..... they are darn big creatures. Black cows that have escaped at night are just an accident waiting to happen. I worry about killing somebody in a car with my wayward cows......

Horses are a bit more timid---- especially if they have experienced an electric fence.

When we arrived at the back pasture early this morning, the horses were hanging out with the girls.

Luckily, the cows are on one side and the nags on the other or we might have a repeat of the calf killing from earlier this year. Everybody was still where they were supposed to be.

We rolled up there with all of our fencing supplies as well as the mineral feeder.

Seth was running more electric fence and I had pasture clean up.

 Since they are in the second paddock, we are working on clearing out the first one. We are plagued in this part of the country by "hedge" trees. Also known as Osage Oranges. These things are covered with thorns and will take over a pasture in a hurry. We are already behind in keeping them cleared out. The cattle do not like to graze very close to the little trees because of the thorns. On top of that, it is very difficult to mow with out damaging the equipment. Eventually, they will fill up a pasture and severely reduce the grazing area.

I wore myself out nipping off the trees that are too small for the chain saw. I feel as if I have thwarted and entire forest. The worst part about these things-- other than the wicked thorns-- is that they are very persistent. If we just cut them down or mow them off, they will just sprout right back up. Instead of just one tree trunk, they will send up several shoots making a thick shrub and covering up even more pasture.

So each and every one that we cut down has to be sprayed. This is a very strong chemical and as expensive as liquid gold, so we try to be very careful to only get it on the stump and not the grass around it. At the moment, I am so tired that can't remember the name of it......

When I decided that I had had enough for one morning, I trudged back over to the water trough to rest. My plan was to sit on the edge and catch my breath before heading down to see how Seth was coming on fencing the next paddocks. We will be back in a few days with the chain saw to get the bigger trees.

My cows had other plans. As soon as I sat down, they all began to come over to visit with me.

This 904. She is raising her second calf for us and doing a spectacular job. We are very proud of her because she is a "home raised cow". I love how his face is all wet from nursing.

                                          This is our hamburger supply for late next year........

Mouse was being social this morning.

And, of course, Cornbread had to come see what I was doing at the trough......just in case she missed something. Her mother was named, "Buttermilk" and if she has a heifer, Adam would like to name her "Chili".
Before long, I had six full grown cows and two calves all cautiously circled around me and a few braver ones bumping up against me. The rest were a little further away balefully trying to glare me into letting them back out in to the whole property.

As I sat there in warm sunshine, admiring our girls, I thought about how much I would be missing if I had to go off farm to work.

I hate to bring it up again but...... we are desperate for rain again. Actually, we have never stopped being in dire straights this entire year. I just tried to stop whining about it on here. Forecast is for drizzle tonight.

1 comment:

  1. I know what you mean about the goats & fencing. We had SIX strands of electric fence and would still have one bugger that would just plow through it. He figured it was worth that initial shock just to get on the "Other" side of the fence. And I know it's dangerous, but the newer pulsing electric fence doesn't seem to deter most goats. We had to train our goats on the constant zap electric fence charger otherwise they'd just run right through it.
    We don't have the electric fence anymore though as the last ice storm took it out. So now our new fencing will be a tight woven 4' fence, topped with barbed wire and two strands of electric to discourage fence leaning. Who would have thought fencing would be so time consuming.

    We're still in a drought here too, only good thing is that it is no longer 100 degrees. But we really need more rain.