We have set up our pastures to use a rotational grazing method to feed our herd of cattle. This means that we have divided up the pastures into pie shapes with a water source being the pivotal point in each location. We have three different watering stations on the property: one past the barn at the back of the farm, one on an outlying piece of property and a new one close to the side of the house.
We do not let our cows freely roam entire pastures because they have a tendency to trample, and then not eat, the greens growing. In a more defined space, they wander less and eat more of what is right there in front of them. Rotational grazing also allows sections of pasture to rest in-between visits from the herd.
But here is the problem, the herd’s idea of when it is time to move to a new section of pasture is NOT in line with ours. To be honest, our cows are a bit spoiled. They have no desire to actually WORK for a meal and would rather just graze the easy stuff and then move onto more easy stuff in the next pasture. And they let us know their desire and displeasure loud and clear the instant we walk into view.
Normally this ridiculous spectacle doesn’t faze me as I go about my business of being a farmer, but ever since we fenced in the area right next to the house……oh my. Because they are so close, they start the chatter as soon as they see me leave the house. They follow along the fence-line pleading with me to listen to their sob story. “We’re starving and there is nothing left to eat here! Swear to god, we are wasting away!”. As long as they can see or hear me they will carry on, but as soon as they can’t, their heads are back down chopping away at the still abundant grass beneath them.
I tell Steve that it is adorable and marvel at how convincing they are at looking pathetic. I laugh at them as I walk to my next project. Up until now I have gotten a real kick out of their spoiled behavior, but then they started doing something that I don’t find endearing in the least.
You see, our bedroom is at the far end of the house…..right next to the cow’s side fence. With the temps being more moderate, we no longer have the heat on so we leave the windows open. Those damn cows start mooing when we turn on the light to get ready for bed because they can see us through the window! We’ve taken to undressing and brushing our teeth in the dark! But that doesn’t work either because we keep running into stuff in the pitch dark and swearing loudly so they know we are in there. I swear they can even hear us turning over in the middle of the night because they just stand at the fence edge “serenading” us the entire night!
So yes, even though there is still plenty of perfectly fine grass remaining in that pasture, we will be moving them WAY ahead of schedule. Cows-1 Farmers-0