A few weeks ago we moved the “ladies” to the back pasture.  During this time DH cleaned out the run-in shelter very well and replaced the straw with clean straw.  So this evening before dinner, we “drove” them from the back pasture to the front. May 09 Move to Front Pasture 001

     I understand that on larger ranches cattle drives require significant numbers of people, horses and, often times, support staff who follow the drive with supplies and food for the drivers.   Some pastures are so far apart that these drives last for days.  During America’s early years cattle drives could last for weeks and were treacherous not only for the people involved but the animals as well.       

     At Smiling J Farm we a have much more abbreviated version of the cattle drive.  It only took a few minutes and there were only two of us on foot to drive our small herd.  But it was as important for us to get every one of them safely into the front pasture as it is for any rancher to move their herd. j0144381


    Who would want to risk hurting this sweet little face?   “Nobody puts Baby in a corner”  Okay name that movie. . .   OK don’t, I was just making conversation …. Anyway this is our baby, for whom we still have no name!  Don’t blame me I found several for DH.  He must still be chewing on it for some reason.   Maybe because he still needs to register Momma (Southern Belle) and the other heifer.   (I wonder if cattle work ever gets done?   If it’s like housework it doesn’t. . . )  What was I talking about? . . . oh. . . yeah the front pasture.   We wanted her to get to the front pasture safely with all the others.   So we took things nice and easy.

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      We realize that there are a much smaller herd here on Smiling J Farm and that the risk while moving cattle is a lot lower than most other places.  BUT there was a risk of the “ladies” eating things in the transition area that is not good for them.  And we didn’t want them to mess with the Elderberry and Grapes which grow there.  So although our drive was more like a walk, we had to make sure that they didn’t stop too long in between pastures.  

May 09 Move to Front Pasture 007  So here was have opened the gate.   Do you know how hard it is to take pictures and move cattle at he same time?  Of course it helped that DH had the sweet feed in a bucket and was moving toward the front pasture.   I still had to let hte camera fall around my neck to prevent damage to the elderberry tree!  Silly Gretchen and Q wanted a taste but I wouldn’t let them!  I should have taken a picture first, but I didn’t want them to eat too many leaves. 

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        Ah the lure of sweet feed. . .      May 09 Move to Front Pasture 009 

But it didn’t take long for them top realize that sweet green grass is even better! Our work was done for the day and the ladies got settled in quickly.   Now we feel like old hands at that we’ve moved them twice now without incident.   I bet Ben Cartwright would be proud!    May 09 Move to Front Pasture 010