Saturday, January 26, 2013

Herd Cocktails

On my way home at night I stop and water the herd again.

The past few evenings it has been -10 degrees as I am putting the hose into the tanks.

And the past few evenings the herd has been waiting for my arrival.
It always seems like a quiet get together for group cocktails, along with a little gossip and some bar snacks (cinnamon covered graham crackers).

This particular evening they lined up and took turns as the tank filled and then went back to the roll of 2nd cut hay in their hay rack.

 The herd seems to do everything by color.

First the all black cows drink and then the red cows drink and then the red calves drink and lastly the black and white heifers drink.

Every night the lineup is the same.

 I love standing there in the freezing stillness, looking at the moon and hearing the cows slurp their water.

Then I hear the crunching of the snow as they head back to their hay.

It is a wonderful routine until my toes turn numb.

Just before I leave I sometimes hear a coyote howling off in the other fields.

It reminds me how rural we are and how this area is very conducive to healthy wildlife.

Not a day goes by that I do not see a fox, eagle, porcupine, deer, hawk, turkey or...did you read about the surprise encounter of an ermine Mavis had last week ?  Go read it.  Its 2 posts below this one.  I got a real good education on that one.  Every animal I meet becomes my personal teacher.

I am still waiting for the neighborhood moose to show up here with the herd some morning.

What is the most unexpected wildlife you have found on your property or with your livestock ?


  1. I found a newt in my bathroom once. I live in an urban area on the edge of a city in SW England so I wasn't too sure where he'd come from but I rehomed him by some water and vegetation in the garden. :-)

  2. The mountain lion, twice, on the property, within 100' of the barn.

    Sort of "with" cows was the moose in the woods. The cows weren't interested in having it "with" them, they'd circled the calves.

  3. We have deer,bear,hawks,coyotes,eagles,and fox living in the area. I had an unexpected encounter with a Goshawk that had killed and eaten one of my hens right in the doorway of the old hen house. I had to boost it with the snow shovel to get it off the roost and out the door. Last March, I saw a Fox trying to climb up the hardware cloth on the front of this same structure to get in with my Turkeys. I sent a German Shepherd out and the last time the Fox was seen was running for its life 1/4 mile away.

  4. I thought of you yesterday when I spotted another ermine. This one had either a big mouse or a small rat in it's mouth. Sure seem to be abundant this year.

  5. Thank you for sharing with the Clever Chicks Blog Hop this week; I hope you’ll join us again!

    Kathy Shea Mormino

    The Chicken Chick

  6. The bear in the backyard in the middle of the afternoon last summer was a much for him as it was for us, I think :-) Here's the photo...