Wyebrook Dispatch

There’s Always One

There’s Always One

Steve hurt his back over the weekend so I hung around to help Ryan. We had two big moves today and I was glad Ryan was leading the charge on both of them instead of me!

First we moved the calves. My favorite group! They were going into the woods with the goats. They were hungry and came as soon as Ryan started calling them. I followed behind just to make sure no stragglers turned around and tried to escape, but that wasn’t a problem. The whole thing took maybe 20 minutes. Maybe.  I wish moving calves went that smoothly every time!

Cooperative calves

Cooperative calves

Then we moved the cows. They were the tricky group. We put them above the pond, right below the cottage and café.

Cows outside my window!

Cows outside my window!

There aren’t perimeter fences for that section so we had a lot of setting up to do. Once we had everything ready, we set about moving them. To make it easier to follow, I’ve drawn up some lovely diagrams.


You were hoping I’d actually draw a cow, weren’t you? No such luck. This is the extent of my artistic skills.

The cows were in Pasture 1. The solid black lines are the perimeter fences and the blue dashed line is the temporary fence that was still set up. The two gaps between Pasture 1 and Pasture 2 are coil spring gates and the opening at the bottom of Pasture 2 is the gate that opens into the lane. Our goal: run the cows through the coil springs, through Pasture 2 and into the lane. They would then follow the lane around to the are we’d fenced for them above the pond.


We were worried that the calves would run past the 1st coil springs and get disoriented. This has happened before. They pass the opening they are supposed to run through and can’t figure out how to get back. They see the rest of the herd through the fence, but don’t know to turn around so they just keep plowing on ahead. To try and keep this from happening, we set up some chicken fence perpendicular to the far corner of the coil springs.

We also had a contingency plan. If any of them did run past the chicken fence, I would drop the temporary fence (blue dashed line) and open the far coil springs and call them down that way. Contingency plans are good. You should always have one because there’s always one knothead who can’t get with the program.

The whole herd came galloping through the first coil spring opening, following Ryan to new pasture while I waited to bring up the rear. Miraculously, all of the calves made it through and I though we were in the clear. No such luck. One of the mamas ran past the chicken fence and got herself trapped. I quickly dropped the fence and called her down to the other coil spring opening.

20131014_0028She came running, but by the time she got through the herd was out the gate and halfway down the lane. I wanted to keep her moving in the right direction so I ran behind her all the way down the pasture.

20131014_0029On paper that might not seem like a far distance, but these drawings are not to scale. Here’s a photo I took from the gate. I ran there from the ATV. Can you spot it?

20131014_0004I’ll help you out.

20131014_0004aI am supposed to run a half marathon on Sunday. That’s pretty laughable at this moment. There is no way. My eyes have been opened and I am no longer under the delusion that being ‘farm fit’ will enable me to run 13.1 miles without any training.

Back to cows. They are happily settled right outside my window! It is lovely.

Cows outside my window!