It was a dark and stormy night...well almost.
started bringing cattle in off the fields and to the barn for winter.
With shorter, colder days there is less and less grass for the cows to
eat. It is easier to feed them and make sure they're doing well if we
bring them home to the barn and keep them there. We are able to
freestall them so they have access to the outdoors all the time.
At first the day was sunny and bright. Danny and Bunzies brought the cattle from fields furthest away to the barn in the cattle trailer.
Everything went smoothly.
Then as the day began to darken it was time to bring the cattle from the Stephen's Field home. It was decided not to use the wagon and that it would be quicker to bring them home through the fields. The kids came home from school and were instructed as to their roles. We stepped outside to start and lo and behold it was snowing! The roads were getting greasy so we had to be careful to give cars plenty of warning to slow down as we herded the cattle across the road. That part went pretty smoothly. Then came the chasing and bribing part of the journey. Armed with buckets of drop apples Danny, Eben and Bunzie started to bring them home.
The cattle were brought up through the Hicks property and could see the barn; down a hill, across the brook and up a slight hill. Eben was bringing up the rear.
Slowly they started down the hill.By the time they got to the brook they weren't sure if this was a good idea. Fortunately they weren't crazy about the snow either.
Danny cajoled them with apples while he called out to the "Cooome on" At first they were not sure. Some backed off and tried to go back the way they'd come. Eben was there at the back encouraging them to continue forward. Still crossong the brook didn't seem like a good idea. Danny kept calling and throwing apples to the ones in front. When he ran out he picked apples off of wild apple trees. Finally one crossed! At this point everything became much easier as the rest of the herd struggled to catch up and ran through the stream and up the hill.
They hurried past the sheep barn, past the old apple trees, past the silage, up the hill and past the back of the barn.
When they got to the back of the barn they knew to hook a right and head up to the pens.
There they were rewarded with lots of fresh, sweet hay and the chance to meet with old friends who had summered in other fields. There was a lot of talking but we were all happy at how things had worked out.
Our animals are home, morning chores and evening chores have changed to include feeding and cleaning the barn out. But the hay smells sweet and the new conversation sound great. Until next week.