Wednesday, May 18, 2011

New home

Today we moved 107 heifers on pasture for the first time. These are the calves that were born last summer. We take them from their outdoor barn and put them on trailers, drive them a half a mile down the road, and put them out. Then they dance and frolic across the pasture ... and run into the fences.

This is their first exposure to pasture and high tensile wire. It's stretchy wire. That means when the cattle run into it, it doesn't break. It's strung in three places - high, medium, and low. It's also electric.

Most people are familiar with barbed wire - birthplace DeKalb, IL, where we used to live! We don't use that, because electricity is basically the 'barb' of this wire.

So the heifers tried out the pasture, checked out the woods, ran around, and ran into the fence. Kris said that one heifer had it stretched about 20 feet before it snapped back. One ran through it, and then ran the other direction back through it. But once they understand their boundaries, they never really touch it again.

Kris did say, however, that he didn't see even one of them eating grass. He said they just don't get it yet.

It doesn't take them long though. They soon tire of running around and get down to eating. In a few days they'll have to move them on to the next paddock. They'll be here until the grass stops growing and we move them to a pasture next to the barn, where we can supplement their feed through the winter.

Welcome to pasture, little heifers! Eat, run, and watch out for those fences. I really, really don't want to get the dreaded 3:00am call and chase you back in tonight. High tensile wire is great, but it can't beat teen-heifer excitement.

1 comment:

Mom said...

We don't want that 3:00 a.m call either! (Don't be surprised if our phones are turned off.)