Monday, August 31, 2009

Calling the Cows...

One thing that I have really appreciated about the new perimeter fence is the ease of moving the cows to new grass. We are not yet to once a day rotations yet, but we are getting there as I figure out how much grass they need each day and how to handle them with the tall warm season grasses that we have right now. I'm trying to use the cows as part of my pasture renovation by getting them to eat down as much as I can before I come back in with the anthill buster and the brush hog (to get rid of all the bushes).

All that being said, one of my favorite things to do is call the cows to some new grass ... it always amazes me that they will come (even from the other side of the farm) and it surprises people when the see it. I can't say that I've done anything special to train my cows, so I just think it is in their genes (kind of joking there).

But, Saturday evening a they were in a far corner of a large open area and I wanted to get them into some fresh grass. I walked out into the field and started calling out, "Come on now cows!" Slowly but surely they started bawling out and starting to move towards me. I kept calling and walking towards the opening in the electric fence I wanted them to go to. Once the lead cows came over the hill and saw what was going on they took off running!

In a matter of minutes they were all in the new area and grazing away. I stood there for quite a while (with some friends) watching them fill their mouths with fresh grass and see the calves bound around and upset their mothers by walking under the fence to the good stuff (there is clover in the areas where I have mowed). I'm not saying that I know why it works to call them like I do ... I'm just saying it works and it is enjoyable!

(I'll try and get a picture up this afternoon or evening)


Yeoman said...

Cows do respond to calls. Here we use "whoops", as the sound carries. They'll come to it when they're gathered.

They'll also come to the sound of a honking horn as they associate that with being fed hay.

GreenRanchingMom said...

We also "beep" (honk) our cows in. And we use "Coooommmme BAAAAASSS" to call our cows. Our riding horses come in to a yell of "Come on BOYS". Sounds like you take care of them well, and they love the new fence and grass!

Rich said...

We always use the truck's horn or I just whistle if I am on foot,(a whistle will usually carry about a quarter mile depending on the wind.)

But, there is someone about a mile away that has a siren they blow to call their cattle when they are feeding cubes.

I am usually deer hunting early in the morning and all of the sudden they cut loose with that siren for about 5 minutes, then the cube feeder starts off CLANK-clank, CLANK-clank, about 25 times (I can't stop myself from counting the clanks).

As soon as the feeder starts, you can hear cattle in another pasture about a mile farther down the road bawling because they hear that cube feeder clanking and they know that those cubes are coming. Five minutes later, the siren blasts off again (I don't know why, because I can hear the cattle already lining up and bawling to be fed over a mile away), and then the clanking of that cube feeder starts once more (there are about 30 clanks in that pasture). They repeat the process a few more times as they go from pasture to pasture. I still don't know who it is, but it is the most irritating way to call cattle I have heard.

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