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Lucky Fools

Posted 7/10/2014 7:42am by Julie Hurst / Roy Brubaker.

July 10, 2014

This past Monday we moved the cow / calf pairs across our neighbor's property, along the ridge to the pastures we rent from another neighbor.  Perhaps we've become a little conceited about this process because the first year we did it, we set up long fences to ensure they would not run into the woods on left or into the lush alfalfa on the right. This year Roy and I started the process without even scoping out the pasture they would be running / walking through to get where we needed them to go. I was walking out ahead, calling "Here bos, here bos, bos," and they were gamely following along in the shade ... until I crossed over our property line into the neighbor's creekside pasture and realized the grass there was a up to my shoulders and taller than the calves.  The cows quickly dispersed, some towards the ridge, some towards the alfalfa, some into the copse of trees. Roy took the ATV after the ridge cows and I tried to protect the alfalfa by shoo-ing cows and calves out as I went.  For several minutes I felt how foolish and cocky we had become; just taking off without a reconnaissance mission.

What saved our necks is that cows naturally want to stay in a herd. That and some of the older cows clearly knew where they were headed.  At one point we switched and I took the ATV ahead to make a path through the tall grass into the pasture on the far end, continuing to call the cows as I went, while Roy kept coaxing the ones lagging in the rear. When we closed the gate behind them, we did a quick count, and hopped on the ATV to search for any that got separated.  Remarkably, they were all there.  Disaster averted again. Fools can get lucky sometimes.