Joey Went Home
Joey went home today – and I am glad. Bull Guy was supposed to come today at 2:00 to fetch Joey so at about 10:00 I loaded some hay to use as bait to “catch” the cows and Joey and put them in a paddock near the gate for easy pickup. I drove over to the corral to feed the heifers that are in lockdown, and out of the corner of my eye, I see my daughter walking briskly across the field…she was supposed to come over to help with Joey when I honked. I figured by her gait that Bull Guy was on his way. My plan was to build a wide lane from the corral over to the strip where the cows were, throw out some hay, and go get the cows. Joey always brings up the rear so I was going to lead the cows into their paddock/lane area and close of the fence behind them cutting Joey off at the pass. Once we got them separated we would throw out a few flakes of hay for Joey, build a back fence for him, and have him “corralled” for Bull Guy to throw a rope on. The wide lane also was for combining the heifers back in with the herd after Joey was on his way.
I was right, I hadn’t got to the corral yet when he called the house (we only have a landline, no cells) saying he would arrive in about 45 minutes. So we had to scurry a bit and divide up the tasks, I finished my fencing while she spread the hay for the cows and stuck a few flakes for Joey out of sight of the cows. When all was ready I went and got the cows, which was an easy task consisting of opening a gate and walking them back through their grazed strip to the gate for the lane. Joey as I suspected was lolly gagging and doing bull stuff like rubbing dirt all over his poll and face. Perfect timing, cows filed by, I closed the fence, Joey showed up, Ruthless threw his hay over the fence. I quickly built a back fence.
I sent Ruthless back to the house in case Bull Guy called again, and I waited with Joey and the cows. And I waited, and waited. I decided to just chill, although it is sunny it’s pretty brisk, it was a pretty nice time of day to wait. Plus if I got Joey out of here before lunch that would free up my afternoon. It was good time for reflection, I like cows for coworkers, and they have trained me to work them. By observing their habits, working cows can be pretty enjoyable. You can hardly force them to do things they don’t want, it’s just easier to work with their nature.
Bull Guy finally got there, and after catching Joey, we had nice little chat about how smart cows are, and how so much of the time people call them stupid. He beamed when I told him Joey mooed when he heard his truck. I was relieved to witness Joey being only a tad bit “bad” about being caught, and once he had a rope on his neck he seemed to be well aware that his owner was a little frail. That might have been my imagination, but that is how it appeared. Joey was a perfect gentleman, loading perfectly, actually better than most saddle horses. I was very relieved though to close that door and latch him in.
I’m sitting here writing this because while Joey was good, my cows had to get all goofy when it came time to go back to their old grazing strip. I was going to come back, enjoy lunch and finish up a post on our water system and my day yesterday, but it’s just after 1:30 and my pedometer reads 10,362. Usually at lunchtime it’s in the 6K range. That extra 4K is from chasing cows! Many things on the farmstead just require you to walk away and come back to the task, yesterday I flooded my truck, so I know just chill, go do something else and come back. It was the same today with my recalcitrant cows. I chased them a bit, got mad and then I just had to walk away. My daughter had come back over to help with the heifers, and she asked me if I needed more help. I didn’t think so, so I waved her off. Stupid me, smart cows.
My walking away consisted of going to the opposite side of the pasture and making their new paddock, I needed to do it, I was just changing the order of my tasks. My cow 101 told me that if I go walking off and they see me building their new fence, they will be more than happy to listen to me when I get done. Thankfully it worked, they were over their little bit of excitement and pecking order reestablishment and were happy to now go through the gate that had so stymied them a half an hour before. See, they do have me trained. Phew, now, I can relax a little, no bull breathing down my back during paddock shift, and everyone is settled. Chapter closed.