I was walking through the dining room this morning when I saw a familiar face looking at me through the window in the front door. It was a fuzzy, black and white face- the face of one of our heifers, standing on the front porch. She stared at me for a minute, then bolted away as I moved toward the front door.
We hadn’t had any cows escape since one particularly bad day in June, and I was not looking forward to repeating that experience in the winter. This same heifer had led the way on that day.
Since I was home alone, I had to spend some time thinking about how to handle this. I peered out the front door & didn’t see any other cattle. Went upstairs and, to my relief, was able to see that the 4 others were still inside the fence.
With a bale of hay, some herd psychology, and about half an hour, I was able to get her back inside the fence. She was ready to rejoin her friends. There was no running madly through muddy fields this time.
A little investigation revealed that she had probably stepped over the wall of our cow stall in the barn, and just waltzed out the front door. Mr. Burke is presently outdoors, nailing a few more boards to the stall wall to make it higher. I’m especially glad that it wasn’t something like a breach in the field fence, which is a very annoying thing to fix in the winter!
Also, I’m very glad that our work with taming the cattle has paid off so much. The heifer that escaped today was the least-tame of all our cattle, but she still tolerated my presence and responded to what I wanted her to do MUCH more easily than before. We strongly believe that tame cattle make better beef, since they will have produced fewer stress hormones. Food is a great motivator!