How a girl becomes a cow-girl

Zoe gets cows. She really undersands them but there’s still lots to learn and, early this morning, we had a fun little lesson with the “teenagers” on the farm.

Step one is to lie down nice and still in the grass. Step two is to stay still (and quiet). Step three is to wait a little bit longer.

Heifers and Zoe reach out

“You can trust me”

If you’re patient enough, they’ll come. Snuffling, chewing their cud and nudging forward little by little with unbridled curiosity. It’s not exactly “Gorillas in the Mist” but it is an awesome, humbling experience and everybody should try it.

Why female elephants are called cows

“The problem with farmers is that they use all their vehicles as observation platforms,” someone told me recently and it’s true. We are always on the lookout for our animals, often without even realising it.

If the Bobcat is an observation platform, the house must be command central, so when I gazed out the kitchen window last night and saw this, I had to investigate.

Spying on the cows from the garden

Spying on the cows from the garden

The cows were gathering around a water trough rather than going into a truly delectable paddock of long yet succulent cocksfoot right nearby. This meant trouble. Either it was an empty water trough or the gate wasn’t open.

When Alex and I arrived, we found the trough brim-full and the gate wide open but the cows were angry. Angry cows mill about, urinate all over the place and sound very disgruntled. Could they have missed the open gate? I drove the Bobcat into the paddock and the mooing just got louder.

Cows outside the gate

Were the cows holding a stop work meeting?

I came back out for a “chat” and a delegate presented herself.

cow delegation

"We have an OHS issue"

It appeared there was an OHS issue to resolve. Now I know why elephants are called cows: because, like their bovine counterparts, they never forget.

During the big wet, the gateway had turned to porridge – a gooey mud that cows hate – and it was cow 33’s duty to inform me that she and her colleagues were having none of it this time. So I walked on it and she followed. As you can see, cow 33 is a young Friesian Jersey crossbred and these little cows have chutzpah beyond their years.

Once 33 had okayed the worksite, everyone else followed.

Cows entering paddock

It's good to go, girls!