Cast - Me (Mum), Husband, 18y.o Daughter, 15y.o Son
Starring - Brock, Brian, Brendon and Bevan (our new Angus 12mth old steers)
We said goodbye to Jack and Jill (the two on-loan goats) on Saturday, and hello to our four new 'little' boys Brock, Brian, Brendon and Bevan. The boys had recently been weaned from their Mum's and were dropped off in the wood paddock. Daughter and I had been shopping for 15y.o's birthday cake, so when we arrived home 22mths was covered in mud and four cows were bellowing for their Mum's in the paddock!
22mths had had a meltdown in the paddock over wanting to carry the 20 kilo chain length that had to be returned with the goats. He decided to show his Daddy how unimpressed he was by flinging himself to the ground. Unfortunately, there has been lots of rain recently and the ground is very muddy. I wished I had been there to take that that photo!
The cows had to be moved from the drop-off paddock, to join Bill and Ben in the other three paddocks. These boys have not been bucket-trained, and are very wary of people, but the three of us (Husband, Daughter and I ) herded the boys through the gate quite gracefully. Once in the other three paddocks, the boys quickly scattered, mooing loudly in search of their Mum's - poor things! We left them to it, but had to listen to them mooing throughout the night as they alternately lost and found each other.
|We just want our Mum!|
The next day, Husband went down to the paddocks on his tractor to take them a bale of hay. He came back in the house (where I was preparing for 15y.o's Birthday dinner) and yelled ' I have been waving at you and trying to get your attention', to which I answered ' Well, we weren't looking out of the window!' Hehe! Anyway, Husband had come back to say that one of the new boys had 'jumped' over the fence and was mingling with the huge bulls in next door's paddock! NOT AGAIN!!! I couldn't believe it - what do these cows think? What are the bulls doing that is so enticing that a cow has to jump over an electric and barbed wire fence??
15y.o elected to stay behind to watch over 22mths who was (thankfully) asleep, and secretly stuff his face with birthday treats in our absence. Daughter and I collected two buckets of yummy calf muesli and chaff, Husband met us down at the paddock with a length of rope and his fencing tools.
The Alpaca's of course, interested that we should be walking through with what seemed to be yet another bucket of treats (they had already had theirs!), decided that they would follow us down. We walked through the cow paddocks, and there he was the little shit! Eating grass next to a teenage bull with a wonderful set of horns! After a quick check, we couldn't find any place that he had broken threw the fence, so yep...the cow had jumped over!
Husband and I tried very hard to take down the barbed wire, electric fence line and other fence wire, whilst Daughter kept calling to the cow. He wasn't having a bar of her, and he didn't know what the bucket meant. Instead he walked off to another group of bulls, and started bellowing in their ears. This annoyed the bulls, and the baby boy was head-butted around the group until he stood off to one side and cried.
Meanwhile, Granddad had arrived, and he suggested that we lay the fence flat in a section and then Husband and Daughter could herd the cow back over. While we were pulling out stakes (VERY hard work), our big baby had realised that he was on the wrong side of the fence and was mooing in anguish to his brothers on our side. We started to lay the fence down, and wouldn't you know it...the farmer next door appears on the horizon with a bale of hay on his tractor and starts calling up his bulls! Very quickly, the bulls all start walking up to the tractor on the hill, and I am worried that the baby will follow!
Husband and Daughter quickly grab the rope, and use it to try and separate our baby from the bulls. Of course, the baby gets scared and runs off, nearly tripping over the rope and dragging Daughter up the paddock in the process. Just to make things more interesting, the biggest bull (yes, him with the horns) is having a face-off with Husband! Why can't things be simple????? Husband wins the stand-off (thank goodness!), but our baby is running up the neighbours paddock with Daughter in hot pursuit! It is very boggy and Daughter loses a gumboot in the process eewwww (ever been in a muddy paddock with a billion cows? EEEwwwwww). Finally the baby stops his run and both Husband and Daughter direct him back to the fenceline at a trot.
Granddad and I have been busily laying down the section of fence, and I am precariously using my weight to keep down the end post of the section (so that we didn't need to cut any wires) whilst Granddad is perched on his end. The post is very springy and I was afraid that I will go flying off and had adopted a surfing pose. The cow comes towards me, scared and mooing, and he has picked up pace. In fact, he is coming directly at me and is running as Husband and Daughter have become too enthusiastic and are running behind him to try to scare him right over the fence. My stomach was somewhere in my throat and I thought that I might vomit in my boot, then the big baby boy decides that I am way too scary and veers off to his right and runs back up the neighbour's paddock.
At this point I just want to give up, and Granddad is hearing many words that he never thought that I knew! Granddad then grabs some of the metal pickets and drives them over the wires to hold the fence down, reasoning that the cow will not go over the fence with us standing on it. I am relieved that I can get off my post, but there are not enough stakes to go along, so I have to climb back up again. This time though, with no-one standing on the other side, the baby should be more inclined to come back.
So...Husband and Daughter again herd the baby back towards the fence. The farmer next door is sitting in his tractor watching the spectacle. I have assumed surfer position, and the cow is headed back. Instead of running, Husband and Daughter walk behind him, and he feels less threatened. He causally walks over the fence (thankfully not getting caught) and then happily moos and joins his brothers in the paddock. Daughter and Husband are covered in mud and cow poo, and we all pitch in and spend the next half hour fixing up the fence.
|And number six makes a herd!|
We then have to make an electric perimeter fence inside our fenceline, to make sure the cows won't jump over again. I leave this job to Husband, as I have a birthday dinner to prepare and 22mths had woken up! The boys and the Alpacas had decided to introduce each other over the gate by the time we walked back. I didn't get any photos of the action as you can appreciate, but these are the boys back in the paddock!
|Boy! Are you in trouble!|
|WE would NEVER think of jumping the fence!|