Last night, while I happened to be near the live feed to our garage security camera, I was distracted by movement. I looked over just in time to see…

… this cow, making her way back up the driveway!

She managed to get through the fence into the outer yard, but was foiled by the gate.

No road access for you, Lady!

I went outside to check and saw several cows in the outer yard, but they got spooked and ran off. I didn’t want to take a chance of them getting hurt in the dark, so I just closed up the gates to the inner yard. I then sent a message to the renter, rather than phoning, because it really isn’t an urgent thing. I’m glad I did it that way, because their small children were in bed already.

So when I did my morning rounds, I checked out the outer yard fence line. Usually, they break through the gate opening near the barn. I currently have a chain across it – the chain we used across the driveway until we could repair and return the gate our vandal damaged – that has reflective rope wrapped around. I could see hoof prints in the frost on our side of the fence, but not on the other side. The renter’s electric fence wire, however, was loose and clearly broken somewhere.

There was one other obvious place to check.

Sure enough, this is where they came through, as you can see by the trampled grass and tracks in the frost.

There is no barbed wire in this section of the fence, nor the one to the right. The wire starts up again at a post that is off frame. This is clearly by design, as the wire is wrapped securely around the post it ends at (you can sort of see it on the post on the left).

The white pipe coming out of the ground near the tree is where our septic tank’s grey water is expelled. It’s unfortunate that willow was planted so close to it. We will have to keep a close eye on the area, because the roots could mess up the buried pipes. The remains of a fence surrounds this entire low area, and my guess is that this section of fence was left open to access the septic field.

Which was a great idea, but no one maintained or repaired the fence around the septic field.

So now, the only thing keeping the cows out is the renter’s electric fence. You can just see the orange colour at the top of one of the supports for the wire, next to the fence post on the right. I couldn’t see the wire at all, so it would be somewhere in the grass.

The rent will come by to fix the electric fence when they can; I made sure to tell them there is no hurry. I don’t mind the cows grazing down the overgrown areas in the outer yard! I didn’t see them this morning, though I could hear them. They have not been back here for long. The herd is being rotated a lot faster than usual, as the renters are trying to keep them on grass for as long as possible, while the weather holds, but there just isn’t a whole lot of it. The grass certainly recovered well when the rains finally came, but nothing like what there would have been had we not gone through such extreme heat and dryness this past summer. Part of the deal with the renter is that they maintain the fences. It’s such a mess here, though, just to access it. The cows don’t even usually go here at all, so it was very unusual for them to break through here, and they only would have done that if the electric fence stopped working. Which happens every now and then.

I look forward to when we can finally clean up in this area. This is mostly a “hire burly, able bodied people with equipment” sort of job, though, and other things are higher on the priority list.

The Re-Farmer

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