The spring fencing battle begins

Every spring it's the same. Good intentions in the fall to get those fences back in shape got frozen out, and early spring eagerness got mired in mud and drowned in 3 weeks of rain. This week fresh green grass is going to appear, the cows are going to go mad for it, and I'm going to make another desperate attempt to keep them off of it.

It would be a lot easier on everyone to just let them have at it and enjoy it, but unfortunately that is really hard on the ground and leads to a whole year of poor pasture and grazing. Instead I'm going to be spending a whole lot of time trying to outsmart a mob of cows that are hell bent on getting to the other side of the fence where the grass is clearly greener. (And a hell of a lot tastier than the same old hay they've been eating since October.)

I say 'outsmart' because my fences are psychological, not physical barrier. I'd have to sell the farm to afford a fence that could actually hold back about 20,000 lbs of determined cows. Instead they need to either look tight and intimidating, or inflict a sharp enough jolt to make them think they can't get through it. Once in awhile one catches onto this and realizes the split second electric shock is worth it. When that happens there is nothing to do but give in or put her in the freezer.

From year to year it doesn't seem like I'm making any better, but looking back I think I have made progress. 10 years ago I was happy if they stayed in the general neighborhood and out of everyone's garden. Five years ago I started to 'generally' at least keep them on the farm. Some day soon I hope to keep them off the good pasture until it gets properly growing.


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