And then came home again.
After a brainstorming session of trying to figure just how in the world we were going to feed our three rascals healthy nutritious meat this fall and winter we finally came to the conclusion... Again.... that we needed to buy some beef steers. And this time actually do it.
I already knew the ones I wanted. I had been eyeballing them on Craigslist for a couple weeks. We went and checked them out and fell in beef love with 2 Galloway steers. Since we are going to be grass finishing them we wanted to get a breed of cattle that finishes on grass well. One week after seeing them we scheduled their delivery. We are leasing some land from my parents. My horses are already there so it was a pretty easy fit.
I had been reading so much on "mob grazing", pasture management, grass finishing, mineral and salt supplements for years. I was finally going to get to use it! Friday night rolled around and I couldn't sleep. Saturday morning came and I couldn't eat. I was so excited and nervous at the same time. We were finally getting beef cows. Another dream come true.
Jeff text me to say they are on their way! He gets there. Looks at our set up and says it looks great. We unload the trailer. Two fuzzy 600 lb. black steers quietly unload, smell their hay, smell the grass and take off. Number 15 goes straight through the electric fence. Number 13 shortly follows. They head West. Climb some downed tree branches and jump the perimeter fence. Turn North at a dead run and quickly are out of view on their way into town. My parents place is right on the edge of town and for some reason the steers are keen to see the town.
Everyone starts running. The men jump in cars and trucks and take off. I start opening up gates and preparing for them to come home and around the corner at any minute. But minutes turn into 15 minutes and I still haven't heard or seen a thing. Finally, then men start showing up. They have a plan, but first we need to move the horses and take down and use their corral panels to fashion a holding pen for the steers. Whom had let them selves a.k.a busted through another fence, into a pasture with an irritated horse.
Fence count, as in fences they have gone though, at this point is 3.
It takes a good 15 minutes to get the panels in place. All the while the steers are nervously watching us and look like they could bolt if one of us so much as sneezes. The panels are ready. The trailer is in place. We start to calmly move them. One step, two steps, three steps. And they start looking around. They seem to notice large man no.1, large man no. 2 and not so large me. Decide I am their best bet and run directly at me in a, "fit of bovine rage" and dive back through the fence and head farther into town.
Fence count 4.
Timothy and I take off running so we will at least know where they went. We end up getting them turned back around and started in the right direction. They have now decided that they prefer to go South and really put on the gas and pass the road to my parents with out so much as looking down it. My dad goes speeding past me in his very run down, 400k mile car and manages to stop them and turn them. They have a quarter mile to go to get back to the right pasture.
We all get set up again as quickly as we can. They are walking North nicely, my dad walking behind them. Closer and closer to the gate to their new home. 30 feet to go. Now 20. And with 10 feet left they stop and decide that they really preferred going South. And off they go again. Never even hesitating as they ran right by my Dad.
They cross a main road, a bridge and get themselves into another pasture. Atleast this time they used the open gate. No one is home at this house, but the neighbor assures me that they won't mind. I leave my number with the neighbor, leave a note with the homeowner and head back to my parents to sort things out there. We had fences everywhere, panels in someone else's pasture and to fix the neighbors fence that they went through.
Jeff heads home.
Timothy and I just keep looking at each other and laughing.
To be continued....