Yesterday I spent most of the day down the back with my bucket of wire and clippers and Camera house and the two dogs and the phone channelling podcasts.
Lady Astor who is muddy and scratched up and refused a photograph out of disgust found her way out of her field three times in the last 24 hours. Yesterday morning, my bloat prone milk cow was right out the front walking briskly through the corn when I spotted her – looking for all the world like she was off to check the letterbox for mail, right down by the road. I called her and she literally wheeled like a horse pulled up hard: then digging in her back legs she took off at a gallop towards me right through the alfalfa hay. Throwing up clods of wet earth behind her. Big udder swinging. I turned for home and once she reached me she slowed and followed me meekly up to the milking room.
Luckily she left calling cards of smashed down corn stalks and manure plus the ground was pretty wet so she was easy to track. But goodness me. She is in heat and in a mood. Interestingly Aunty Del did not follow her. She stayed in her field like a good cow.
One of her escapes yesterday she climbed over the pen gates within the barn- ending up in another part of the barn licking Txiki half to death. (And with her long out of shape udder all this fence jumping is terrifying). And no cow has ever done this before. (Except for Daisy who used to jump electric fences – do you remember?. But that was years ago).
Anyway, after stringing white electric fence wire above the fence all around that large area, I can only hope she will stay in. She has company and food. I don’t know. A cow is in standing heat for about 8 – 24 hours. (Every cow is different). So by this morning, she should be over it. But Lordy this cow is being a trial.
I have had to shut Wai’s gate too. He is leaving the barn earlier and earlier, shape-shifting his way out, under cover of the dark mornings, to go rampaging out in the cornfield. Ton finds him for me each time but he is getting less and less likely to follow Ton back out of the field so I have chained his gate up. Pigs push gates from the bottom so a latch at the top is useless. I chain all pig gates right at pig nose level.
It is still early morning black dark but I can hear Wai from here bashing at his gate trying to open it. He will be annoyed with me. But he cannot eat corn all day. That is not good for his diet.
They have been combining the crops around here. Although it is still too wet in these fields close to the house, he cannot learn to roam into the field too far. I have no warning when the machines come in.
The sun rises at 7am now. I begin work IN the dark now.
I hope our days are lovely.
WEATHER: Soggy and cloudy and silent.
Thursday 10/12 20% / 0 in
Overcast. High 64F/17C. Winds light and variable.
Thursday Night 10/12 10% / 0 in
Mostly cloudy early, then clearing overnight. Low 52F/11C. Winds light and variable.
7:01 am 6:16 pm
Waning Gibbous, 51% visible Not Available 2:13 pm