Crow’s Nest: Cattle drive

September 21, 2012

Last week the little steers kept getting out of the large pasture unit where we are using them to restore habitat. The electric fence is not working right and we haven’t been able to isolate the source of the problem—so the little guys just squeezed through. So we moved them to the second unit where the goats had been, and walked the goats down the road to their winter pasture (they’ll likely return to summer pasture again briefly before winter).

Then yesterday the big guys figured out how to get through the fence, and soon the neighbors reported seeing them around. The pair got as far as our parking lot this morning before Sean, Luke and I lured them in to the second management unit along with the smaller steers. It was always our objective to maintain this area with cattle; this is the first time we’ve actually done it.

I carried a pan of sweet feed and they followed me pretty well about a half mile up Piersol Road to the other pasture. Sean and Luke followed behind to gently “push” (no physical contact required) and steer them (pun intended) in the right direction. It all went well except for the moment when the steers saw a whole field of corn, looked at the pan of grain I held, looked back at the corn field, and then took off for the field. (Sean circled around them through the corn and pushed them back out.)

The fence where they are grazing now is good, so you shouldn’t see them moseying around the neighborhood any more. But if you do, please call me. Thanks to everyone who has helped out this season—it has taken many!

Posted by Daniel Barringer on September 21, 2012.