Exciting times around the farm! Our peahen, Patty, has been laying eggs in her house that she shares with Petey, our peacock. For the last several weeks, she would lay an egg here and there, in this corner and that one. She did have one pile of four eggs. Those are the ones she has been diligently sitting on for the last few days.
Two of our Jerseys are pregnant, and one of them, Latte, went off by herself in the woods. This is significant because cows are herd animals, and usually like to stay together. As an example, the other day we were feeding the cows corn so that a tour group could see them and get close to them. One cow was a little distance away, and another cow in the herd was mooing at her! It was as if she was saying, “What are you doing over there? Look, we have corn. Come over with us!”
Latte was lying down. I walked closer to her, and she stood up. She had a stern, focused look in her dark eyes, as if she were concentrating.
Since it was Sunday evening, I left her and went home, but was back to the farm bright and early to check on her. She was a little further into the woods, lying down with her head up. I called our vet, and he suggested I get her into a pen because he did not want to chase her all over the farm! I agreed and said I would take care of that.
Hmmm…now to take care of that. I was by myself, and unsure if I could get her, or I would be chasing her all over the farm. I got some bales of hay in the bed of my truck and drove by her. She had already started walking out of the woods, going towards the Walnut Grove, where I had the other cows penned in. I stopped, and she looked at me cautiously, as if she thought it might be a trap!
I took a small handful of hay, brought it near her, and set it on the ground. She ate it, and I put another small bit a little closer to the truck. She ate that too! I drove the truck a little bit further away and put another bit near her.
This dance continued across the field until I got her by the pen. Opening the gate, I put a small pile of hay in front of her. While she munched that, I put the rest of the bale inside the pen and closed the tailgate so she wouldn’t go after the other three bales that were for the rest of the herd.
Just as I was handing a small bit of hay out to her to lure her in, she went around the truck and up the hill to a large tree branch that had fallen from a big storm. Quickly, I grabbed the branch and slowly pulled it towards the pen. We had a little tug-of-war as she pulled on a large cottonwood leaf while I gently pulled the branch away from her.
Finally, she walked into the pen as she was nibbling on a leaf, and I could close the gate. Whew! It can take patience and creativity to work with large animals. And children! I still assert that they are my “farm” children and handling them often reminds me of interactions I’ve had with my now grown children.
Now to wait for a calf…and some baby peafowl! We will keep you all posted!