You ever feel like there is just never enough time? Silly question, I know. Time just literally flies by, making it hard for me to live in the moment because I am always focused on the future. I'm trying to prep for the week, day, whatever, and instead of being one step ahead of the game - I’m alway like 3 or 4 steps behind. The obvious is that I have too much on my plate, but I have no idea where to cut back. One would say this blog, but I've made a commitment and would like to see it through. It's one way that I can contribute to our farm. We feel that it’s important that we are transparent about who we are, since we are potentially raising your food. Thats intimate! You deserve to know all details of what you put into your body. And we are dealing with living creatures. Their lives need to be respected and I fear way too many companies disrespect their “products”, in the raising or killing process or both, and we support these companies by buying their meats because we don’t know what goes on behind the scenes. But who would think that we would need to do research to find out. I mean common sense says, don't be cruel. Why would you do that? Money, detachment from the animals they raise…. I don’t really have a solid answer, just guesses. I just know that it sucks and I make an effort to buy wisely. mini rant….Could this be why I never have time?!? Ha!!! Back on track.
Farming needs planning but also a lot of flexibility in time, because shit happens. A lot. Both Charles and I have jobs outside of our farm, but we are very lucky that they are flexible jobs that allows time for our farm. For instance, yesterday the cows got out. Everything pretty much stops because you gotta get them back in. We have a single strand of hot wire that keeps them in specific area for to eat on and then they get moved every few days for fresh pasture. It’s a pretty good system, but you know the grass is always greener and sometimes they decide that they are ready to move on and cannot bare to wait any longer. Actually, it really only takes one cow to break free and the rest will follow. Cows are not always easy to herd. They like to make their own decisions and if you get too pushy, they will do the opposite. I think it’s just on principle, but really they probably get stressed and feel that since you want them to go a certain way so badly, it MUST be dangerous. Or something like that. So there is a trick to herding. Especially when there is just two of us and we are in an open field and these animals are pretty big and you have to convince them that where you want them to go is way better than the fresh grass they are currently munching on. And there’s like 50 of them. They like to stick together, which can be good and bad. You get a few headed in the right direction, YAY! You get a few that decide to head into the wooded, thorny brush area and you have to go after them…. It’s all really good practice for patience, prayer, and teamwork.
We had to try about 3 times yesterday before we got them all back in. Sometimes they get frustrated that you keep “pestering” them to go in a certain direction and will give you the middle hoof, then just go in circles. Then it’s best to walk away and reattempt after you eaten some pancakes. Then you are ready to do some herding by walking some hills because you just ate pancakes which are not on your diet. Damn carbs.
I said before that cows like to make their own decisions, so the trick is to make the direction that you don’t want them to go in, undesirable - by standing there or waving a stick or something real high tech - so they “decide” to go in the other direction. It’s a whole lotta mind games going on. You want them to go right, don’t push them right, just make going left displeasing. And take your time. You get too pushy, they get fired up and there’s no stopping that train. I’m no cow expert, but I’m damn close. Ha ha ha, just kidding. I’ve just put a lot of thought into it because when you are trying to move a noncompliant herd and you have a million other things to do, it gets frustrating reeeeeeal quick. Anyways, God looks after us, always. We got them in with no major melt downs, nothing broke, no one got hurt. It just took time. :)