Bad Cows and Unrespectable Fences

This is Meathead and Explorer trying to figure out who’s bigger and stronger.

Explorer, our little Jersey/Devon bull, has been out with the girls for months now, but when someone’s in heat he usually tries to ignore it.  On the rare occasion he gets up the courage to try mounting, he is usually knocked off by crazy Isla.  She gets very possessive.  Meathead was the lowest on the horn-and-shove list before we put Explorer out with everyone.

The cows have been SO BAD lately.  I can barely even bring myself to write about them.  They haven’t been quite Igor bad (I still need to write about that story), and not quite as bad as when the sheriff had to return them last year, but still…BAD.

The summer grasses are just beginning to grow, and we had wanted to keep the cows on hay for just a little longer to give them a chance to get established.  But Geranium, Isla, Chestnut, Matilda, and Flora had other ideas.  Meathead and Explorer just followed along, so I guess I can forgive them.

They were getting very antsy, and every evening when we went home they would stand in a line along the fence and moo at us, foghorn-style, in protest.  They knew there was green stuff out there that we were depriving them of, and it just was not going to stand.

Last week they busted down the electric fence AND the un-electrified “brain cage” and ransacked the barn.  Of course they were long gone by the time we got there.  They had moved themselves to the first grazing line and were laying there, bloated and chewing.  I first realized when I found the goat’s barley and copper ration completely empty and the bucket a good 15 feet away from where it was supposed to be.  Then we saw the barn.

They had devoured three bags of oats and two bags of barley, ripped open a bag of mineral lick and scattered it all over, trampled open a bag of Sul-po-mag fertilizer and spread it around, disassembled a nice hay bale intended for the goats and spread it on top of everything and made sure to leave a whole bunch of cow pies all mixed in with it all.  (Of course, it wasn’t all their fault.  We had neglected to close it up).

Matilda was so full she refused to even look at her milking ration, although it didn’t stop her from stalling on the way to the milking barn to half-heartedly lip at some grass.

And it didn’t stop there.  We tried getting them back to their hay bale, but they let themselves into the second line, and then onto the other side of the property.
I was talking to my friend Karen who has a herd of mini Jerseys, and she was complaining that she has to go around and play little games almost with the cows to try to get them to behave.  It’s so true!  There’s just as much social drama with them as with any group of human beings.

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