Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Table Manners for Cows

Every morning the herd gets a nice 900 lb rolled bale of hay for breakfast and there is certain etiquette that must be followed so everyone gets a place at the table.

 They have to get out of the way so I can drive in with the tractor and drop the bale.

Then they have to step back while I cut and drag off the green plastic netting that holds the entire bale  together.

It takes a lot of self control on their part and a lot of fast action on mine.

I have been stepped on a lot when its muddy and bumped by a few eager cows, but for the most part they know the routine and wait for me to do my job and get out of the way.

 The alpha cows get into the same place every morning and then the other cows step up and then the larger heifers get their space.  Any cow who does not line up correctly gets bumped out of line by the other cows.

Everyone knows their place, so there is minimal jostling for space.

The calves are able to get a drink from their moms while they are preoccupied with eating and then the calves grab the hay that the cows are tossing around that drops on the ground.

There is no waste.

 This bale will last exactly 24 hours.

And then it is time for another one.

The smell of the hay and the cows sweet breath is very intoxicating.

It is one of my favorite aromas.

Do you have a favorite farm smell?


  1. i can handle rude cows, but rude people are quite a different story. My favorite farm smell is horses. i like to nuzzle their fur and just breathe horse. I like the peaceful sound of them munching on hay too.

  2. It's interesting how cows have their "pecking order". We see it all the time here, too. My favorite farm smell is freshly cut hay!

  3. Oh your routine sounds the same as mine we do not use a feeder and over feed to have bedding.Lots of careful driving and backing up required. We have more cows than you it appears. I love the way you explain this it is so true. I love the smell of hay, and fresh cut hay before it dries. I am feeding a bottle fed calf right now I am not a fan of the smell of milk replacer:) B

  4. wow, your girls sound more polite than ours! They are so pushy and impatient, and horrible to each other, they are constantly bunting each other out of the way. I need to teach them some manners! My favourite smell is rain, especially if we haven't had any for a while.

  5. Animals are amazing, aren't they?

  6. Oh yes, I know that sweet smell, fresh from the cow has a sweet, clean aroma too!

  7. I love watching animals, and you've given such a detailed and creative description of your cows.

    I grew up on a farm, and I used to love the smell of a hay field that had just been mown.

  8. I know it is a lot of work but you've got the best deal with all those bovines. I love all farm smells.

  9. that is so cute and i can just imagine the smell! i love the smell of fresh hay.

  10. I love the smell of fresh hay. I also like the smell dirt. Not sure I'm a fan of branding time but the smell of branded hair brings back a slew of good memories.

  11. Even cows have a "pecking order" it seems! :)
    My favorite farm smell is freshly turned dirt in the garden on a warm spring day.

  12. very interesting to this city girl....having a farm is a lot of work, isn't it....

  13. Thanks for posting at Wildcrafting Wednesday.

    The Entwife's Journal