Wednesday, September 12, 2018

A Goodbye plus cow training or conquer that wire.

One thorn of experience is worth a whole wilderness of warning.
                                                  James Russell Lowell

First off I wanted to share some sad news with all of you. Our Bossy2 passed away peacefully on the farm on Friday, September 7, 2018. She was loved by many and she will be missed. This story was about one of her last summer adventures with her herd.

It has been a crazy few months around here. The weather has made it a guessing game and we have had to work around that.

The other morning, My Hero and I headed out to take down an electric fence that was left, after a pipeline crew had moved through. This natural gas pipeline, as well as an oil line, has run through the middle of our farm long before we moved here. It needed some maintenance, so there was a dig. The pipeline has always been very accommodating as far as our use of this land. It has always been a pasture and our cows are used to being back there. On the other side of that pipeline is a lush hay field turned into a pasture as well as a great water source. Because of the drought this year we needed our cows to be able to cross that pipeline to get to it. There was no way around that fact.

The nice guys from the pipeline crew put up an electric fence. This was so our cows could wander at their leisure and not get in the way of the crew or get injured in the big dig. It seemed like a good idea to them, and we wondered about it, but agreed. You see our cows have never been around an electric fence.

My Hero and I have well-built cedar rail fences all around our farm. We have been building them since the first week we moved to this farm, decades ago. They work well, and we had no need to depend on electric as we have honed our skills and the fence boundary has become like a fortress. They also look beautiful. My Hero is truly a master fence-builder after lots of practise.

The pipeline crew did put a solar-powered electric fence up that surrounded the dig. Every morning I would walk back there and check that fence. I would never touch it because I had the unfortunate jolt from one long ago and have never forgotten it.

Every night My Hero and I would go back to see the progress and then we decided that we could not wait any longer to let our cows back there. They needed the pasture. We had reservations as to if it would work but we had no choice.
It was time. We opened the gate. The cows could go back there when they wanted. They had been nowhere in sight, so we were not sure when that time would take place.

Sure, enough, they had gone there early the next morning, before I had made it back there. That thin wire was no match for a bunch of sometimes cedar fence breaking cows; just as we had thought. The fence (thin wire) was lying on the ground. It looked like one of them had been the first to experience the power of the wire and the rest had just stepped over the downed wire. I still have no idea who had been the one who planned this. I still have no idea which one was sent to conquer the wire first. I have my suspicions. The evidence was clear that it had been them and not some other beast of the forest. I stepped into a fresh pile of “you know what” because I was not paying attention.

We never did tell the pipeline crew that our cows were able to break through their wall. I am sure they noticed (stepped in) the same evidence that I had. 

We went back that night and put it back up. We have a suspicion that the brave first one had spread the word about the jolt she/he received. 
There were no problems after that. We are almost positive it was one of those young ones. You know they are fearless.

The fence is down, the grass that the crew had planted is growing and all is well with those cow’s world. The electric fence is packed away and ready to be pulled out again in case of emergency. I still do not trust it, but I am sure they will think twice next time they see that thin wire.