As reported in my last blog it has been turnout time, not only for Daisy and the other milking cows but we have also been taking some of the younger cattle out to grass fields as well .
Some of the calves, born in the autumn /winter months have never been out in a grass field before so its a whole new experience for them.
They have never seen grass and it takes time for them to realise that the green stuff under their feet is actually good to eat.
The biggest problem for us is keeping them in while they realise the electric fence will 'sting' if they get too close.
We have our 'cowboy' on hand to round them up if they try to make a break for it, mounted on a quad bike these days though, not a horse.
The electric fence is difficult to see so we hang reflective tape on the wire to help stop the calves from running through it.
Anyway we arrive at the field with ten calves in the trailer. Everyone is in position and I open the taildoor !
The calves come out tentatively at first and then gallop off across the field. Dan rides around the perimeter on the quad bike steering them away from the fence and all is going well until one daft calf runs in a different direction from all its buddies and goes straight through the fence !!
The single wire fence snaps easily and there is little risk of the calf injuring itself, (unlike barbed wire which can inflict nasty wounds on animals if they try to get through it.)
Dan chases after the calf and soon rounds it up and brings it back into the field, but the broken fence is now dead and has to be repaired fast before the other calves escape as well.
The problem we have now is that the calf which broke out won't go back to its friends, infact strangely it now seems to be afraid of them !
We try to coax it back to the group but as we get it within about 20metres it panics and runs through the fence again. The operation is repeated but once again it is afraid to go back to its friends which it has lived with for the past 5 months ???
After about two hours and 4 or 5 more failed attempts we at last manage to persuade it to rejoin the group and it immediately calms down and all is well.
The calves have discovered the grass and are happily munching away, a few have discovered the 'stinging' fence and are keeping well away from the field edges.
We now need a 'cow whisperer' to have a word with the stupid one to find out what was going on in its mind. !
Or maybe it isn't stupid at all and it was doing it on purpose so they could all have a laugh at our expense.
Bye for now, Farmer Dave :)