Watery Wednesday #1
The first frost of the year arrived this morning so we began the day with a leisurely breakfast on the front verandah in the morning sun. Then it was off to complete a fencing job we’d begun last week.
We had been having difficulty getting the cattle to cross Riddler Creek. These cows have been born and bred in drought. They are using the new experience of a swift flowing stream across the middle of their paddock as an excuse not to bring their calves to the side where they can be taken to the yards for handling.
This morning it was different. With the promise of fresh hay, we were able to bribe all but six pairs across. The fencing job was put to one side while we led the herd of seventy cows, most with a calf at foot, into a neighbouring paddock where there is no creek to cause concern to our overcautious mothers. Hobo 1 drove the utility filled with hay stopping from time to time to drop out an appetizer. I followed behind keeping the line moving forward until all were safely inside the new paddock. The reward – six bales of fresh farm hay for morning tea! Great if you’re a cow!
We call this method of mustering “using the straw dog.” It was very successful in drought times but not so effective in times of plenty. It’s also easier on our ageing bodies which don’t bounce like they used to do when we were younger and mustered on horse back.
And how to get the remaining six?
That’s tomorrow’s problem.
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