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Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Taking a Little Walk with the Moos

If you have ever worked with farm animals for a show or the 4-H fair, you know that (unless you hare talking chickens, rabbits, and pocket pets) you are going to have to do a lot of walking!  It's time for our SEVEN potential cows, one heifer and six steers to walk.

Remember last year? Click here.

Not quite sure how Tall Guy's mind is working about who is going to the fair and who is staying home this year, but these four guys are getting bigger every day!

( You all know that you can click on the red words and that will take you back to stories I have already posted right?  I always assume you do, but new readers might not know this, so in the spirit of NOT assuming {we all know the little ditty about asuming}, pardon me if this is a repetition!)

Beef cows, be they dairy or regular beef, should be walked for an HOUR a day.  Now you smart people can figure out that we all have more to do than spend SEVEN hours walking cattle right?

Here's how we do it:

DON'T FREAK OUT!  The girls are safe; Grandpa is driving, and the tractor is going about .05 miles an hour. Think crawling turtle speed!  (It's actually kind of boring to be in the driver's seat unles you are ten or eight!) Tink is reaching down to grab the rope of the milking shorthorn (brown and white) so he can get used to the pull of a person without her walking right beside him and risking a kick or shove.

Now she has a hold of the Brown Swiss.  

Here comes Tall Guy to see how things are going.

While we were out with the four youngin's,  Jerry was in the tool shed bawling his head off wanting to go for a walk too.  Being the sympathetic one, I asked Tall Guy to bring Jerry out.  He gave TG a bit of attitude, and so I asked to have him for a while.  He did better with me.  We had a couple of Come to Jesus moments to remember who is boss, then we hooked him up to the tractor for a bit of remdial walking lessons.  After that, he was right back to the good walker he was last year.

Hey look!  Tink is driving the tractor!  Woo!

We even took these cross breeds out for their first walk.  We dont' have papers on them, so that is why I call them "cross," but there seems to be a good amount of Angus in them.  Meet Jasmine and Alladin.

For some of the farm peeps, this cow walking is a spectator's sport, hopefully from a safe distance.

Brownie was obviously NOT impressed.

Columbus Jr. was trying some covert, undercover observtions.

Sadie, feeling the inner herder in her,  has to go on the leash during these walks, at least until the calves get used to walking.

Bear even wandered off to the rock pile to see what great finds she missed last year!

Poor Sadie is also dealing with being a kind of displaced pooch.

This is her home when she wants to escape the elements, but.......

This momma cat decided it was a great place to have her first litter of kittens, so Sadie has to deal for a while.  Don't worry, though, we keep the tool shed open for her to hang with TG and Grandpa and the moos.

Gotta say it is nice to have the guys around to help with the walking of the cows.  This time last year, we were in the field planting, and I pretty much was in charge of all this fun.  While I am sure Tall Guy would like to be out in the planter right now, the ground is way too wet AND cold for seed to go in.  Some journalists are running with this "late planting season" story, setting off alarms that the there won't be enough corn and beans come harvest because we are not planting!  I swear they take two college level courses entitled "The Sky Is Falling!"

Rest easy,  In our region, corn and beans can be planted any time between now and the end of May without too much fretting.  Beans can even be planted way into June!  This is just the one time farmers get itchy and impatient, and the media likes to jump all over that.  Ag is not suffering yet, and the rains are replentishing the loss in ground moisture we had last year.

Patience is an important word on the farm, whether we are working with our animals or waiting for the sun to shine for a few days in a row!  There's little we can do to control it, so we roll with it, and right now no one is overly concerned.  If we are still out of the fields by the end of May, then I will have some cranky farmers on my hands!

Have a great day!


  1. If they were all black and there were more boys than girls this could SOO be my house, my Tall Guy is affectionately known as The Farmer. I am new to your blog and I will be back! Great post.

  2. The 4-H animals are one of my favorite fair experiences. Love seeing "behind the scenes".


  3. learned something new today- I didn't know cows had to be walked. I've visited dairy farms and haven't seen them do this. Good thing you have helpers :)



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