Monday, November 2, 2009

Strung Out

Now that the calves have been weaned off of their mothers, the herd that has been hanging around our house needed to be moved to a fall pasture for a few weeks. It's a quick and generally painless process. They start bunched up tightly around the cake pick-up.

Much to the delight of my daughter, the cows are feeling good: bucking and playing and hitting the pick-up and stealing cake out of the back. Her giggles are like music!

Because I was supposed to be driving in the lead, I thought some rear-view mirror shots were in order. They just didn't turn out very well. Perhaps because the mirrors were 30 years old and severely cracked? Danish Cowboy? A new cake pick-up? Please?

Much like any livestock, grain is a huge incentive to come running. We train our cows early in their lives that cake in the back of the pick-up generally means that they will get fed, and so they will follow it nearly anywhere: in this case, a few miles east.
Tucker Dog was supposed to follow the herd with Danish Cowboy to encourage the stragglers to keep up, but guarding the cake in the back of the pick-up was a much stronger calling. We all have our priorities, even cow dogs.
After about a mile, everyone picked their own pace and they were strung out about 0.5 miles across the prairie. The leaders tend to be more aggressive and have a stronger desire for cake, but every time they'd catch up to my pick-up, I'd zoom away to the top of the next hill: I hardly think this counts as animal cruelty, but I did feel bad a few times. Do you see it? Do you see the fight in action? What does a cow have to fight about anyway?
Eventually, everyone did make it to the fall pasture and we did go give the cows some cake, so don't worry: their efforts were not in vain. You don't make a pregnant mama walk three miles for nothing!

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