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Night Work

Posted 5/27/2016 12:40pm by Julie Hurst / Roy Brubaker.

May 26, 2016

Sometimes moving animals and temporary fences seems like a pretty cushy farmer job; and then there are other times. Last evening we challenged the cow/calf pairs more than usual by moving them across a small stream into a whole new pasture. For some of the calves it meant leaving the pasture they were born on and moving into the great unknown across the creek. Calves are always the wild card in moves like this.

I didn't get home from market till 8 pm, the girls were at a sleepover celebrating the end of their 8th grade year and this move is not a one person job. By the time I got extra meat back in the freezer it was nearly dark and the cows were more than ready to move. 

Roy walked through the pasture to make sure all the calves were up and with the herd, (a mistake you only need to make once!) and I discretely blocked the path to the road. We opened the gates and mama cows made a beeline for the lush grass across the way and the calves stood at the open gate, looked into the expanse their mamas had disappeared into and turned around and ran joyfully back from whence they came. First time Roy was patient, circling behind them, egging them on while I called to them from the other side.

By the fourth time there were a few colorful adjectives coming from Roy’s mouth. We were down to only a few calves when the cows suddenly realized their babies were not there and they started bawling and running back through the gate. They scolded and gathered their fearful calves and herded them across the creek; all except one ornery little heifer calf. It was full dark when a few of her little buddies wandered back to the gate to look for her and she made her way across and into the herd.

We had to move the water tank, mineral block, and add a few extra hoses to the waterline before we done for the night. It was after ten when got into the kitchen for snack in lieu of dinner.

Working among contented, grazing cows at night when it is cool, and the frogs are peeping and chirping, is very peaceful. Disagreements and stresses are put into perspective as the stars begin to appear in the sky. So miniscule we are in this vast universe, so silly many of thoughts that clutter our days. Sleep comes quickly after a quiet night’s work.