Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Cows on the loose... again!

Sometimes it is a blessing that I am a night owl.

It was 11:15pm last night when I started walking around the house turning off lights and locking up. When in the kitchen I happened to look out the window over the sink and was surprised by the sight of Cherry Blossom, one of our Irish Dexter cows, grazing on the freshly mowed lawn in front of the house. I had an immediate feeling of dread!

So, after slipping on my boots I headed outside to see what was going on. I walked right up to her and took her by the halter (this is the exact reason I do two things with the cows 1. they always wear halters and 2. I routinely give them treats when they come up to me so they never run from me). Only after I had my hand on her halter did I happen to notice the other large dark objects moving around closer to the road... all the cows were out having a midnight snack. The great thing about me having Cherry Blossom in hand is that she is the boss cow of the herd. As she and I walked down to the barn I could hear the cows behind me running to catch up with us. I was expecting the gate in the barn to be open as their way of escape but it was closed up tight. In fact our donkey Inora was on the other side quite unhappy that she was left behind. I secured CB in the cow stall and could see our bull Chuck coming in the barn door and Riona, our other cow, stick her head in behind him. I grabbed a few leaves of hay and enticed Chuck into the stall with Riona coming behind him and Nick, Riona's 10 month old bull calf, fast behind her.

With all four back in the stall happily munching on hay I walked around the barn (in the dark as I didn't think to grab a flashlight on the way out of the house) to check the gate by the goat barn. Unfortunately, that gate was secure too! That really only left the electric fence as the weak link in the fence. Back up to the barn to get the electric fence tester then back out behind the barn (still in the dark) to check the fence voltage... it had none! We run our fence off of a solar panel with a battery backup. Normally the system works great as the solar panel keeps the fence running during the day and charges the battery and then the fence in charged by the battery at night. It is a system that for the most part works on its own and I don't think about it at all. So, at almost midnight I had to figure out what to do for tonight. At first I thought I would just move them to another of our four pastures, it didn't take long to think that through and realise it wouldn't work for reasons different for each pasture.

I needed to get this fence up and working again. I went back up to the house to get a flashlight so I could see what I was doing. First I tried our backup battery with no results. I ended up taking the vehicle booster pack out of the Suburan and hooking it up directly to the fence charger. Immediately I heard the familiar snapping noise of a fully charged fence. Tired, I headed back up to the house and just hopped the cows would still be in the fence come morning.

So, thanks to my night owl status I managed to fix a bad situation... gosh knows where they would have been by this morning if I hadn't noticed them last night.


NobleKnits said...

Hi Diana,

I love looking at all those cute pictures of alpacas! I've tagged you on my blog - so it's you're turn to share 7 things (some random, some weird) about yourself. It's fun!

Sylvia said...

I love that being a parent allows you to experience things with your kids that you can't really do by yourself. The pictures are just beautiful! They are awesome memories to make with them.
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