After the fiasco at the end of May when our 2 Dexter cows were delivered the events at the start of this week were a major relief. We had been given many differing opinions by everyone we spoke to but we tried to follow as many of them as made some kind of sense to us.
Last thing on Monday night while doing the regular rounds I found that they had wandered into our field of their own accord. Luckily for me they were calm and seemed happy enough to just watch me as I replaced the old gate and fencing so they couldn’t wander back out again!
The next day or two were no easier on my nerves though as, having finally got them into our field, I was always worried that they’d get out again! At least my worries were eased having promptly got the fencing man in a week or so ago to put some additional posts and barbed wire around the perimeter to make the field more secure.
Unfortunately because we have tried so many tactics and been given many differing opinions on the best approach, I can’t report which was the one that made all the difference. Here is a rough idea of the main suggestions attempted
- Gentle attempts at herding them with only one person
- More forceful attempts at herding them using a quad along with 3 or 4 people
- Cutting back an overhanging tree at the entrance point to our field
- Regularly tempting them with small amounts of tasty feed
- Positioning the water trough/bucket just inside our field
- Wait until the grass stops growing (luckily this one wasn’t needed!)
Perhaps none of this made any difference or maybe it all contributed in the end. However I’m just thankful that there was a happy ending to the first part of our cattle keeping experiences and very grateful for all the advice/support we received while trying to fix the problem.
The next step is to get them used to us and eventually to accept some limited human contact because if all goes well they are due to calve around December/January. The idea was always that they should manage all that by themselves because they’ve both calved before but it would be better for us (and the vets) if they were more happy around people!