I was scheduled to work a night shift last night. So in preparation I took a nap. Work has been very busy for me for the last three months so this is a necessary precaution to be well rested. Annmarie came home and woke me up at 1630. Well, it was almost dark by the time I went out to feed the animals. We have two battery lanterns in the sheep area and two in the hay area. This is enough light to feed the animals without any difficulty. I got the horses back to their area without any trouble and fed. I then fed the sheep without any difficulty. Then I went to feed the cows, it was pretty dark by this time. I threw out some hay into their feeder and started counting cows, a habit. There were five cows, there should only be four. I assumed that one of the momma cows had gotten in because I noticed that the cows had gotten into the wheat field. They were at the gate hollering to be let in.
I trudged around and had to blow warm air over the clip holding the gate shut to melt the ice so I could unlatch the gate. I had to repeat the maneuver for twice as long at the wheat field gate. The whole time muttering that I need to replace all the clip gates with the horseshoe chains I had made this summer (next year priority). I opened the gate and got a good look at the three cows, all girls! Our bull had gotten in with the babies. One of the young, six month old heifers is in heat! So then Zeke and I waded in and tried to separate the bull. Three round ups later we managed to get the bull and heifer alone in the new barn lot pen. I then used a shaky stick and blunt stick to separate the bull from the heifer and ran her into the square pen. When I was shutting the square pen gate the bull was right behind me pushing on the gate. Zeke thought he was too close and tore in and chased him back away from me. Very good Dog! We then chased the bull out and let all the cows in the barn lot feed at the feeder.
Zeke and I then went around and shut some more gates but never found a hole or open gate that would have allowed the bull access. Annmarie and I made plans to move the bull and three pregnant heifers to the orchard. We want to wait until they have eaten the huge bale of hay we have out for them. The next one will go in the orchard. This will put two fences and a hundred yards between the bull and any heifers.
Zeke and I went out tonight to feed and he could not get up the hillside in the barn due to the solid sheet of ice on the ground. He had to use the shallow incline and do some quick foot work. My chicken door may be inoperable again. Not sure, as I keep going out after dark. Annmarie opened the human door for them today. So I may have to repair it again. I do that dance about three times a year. The nice thing is I have all the parts. I am still researching a new plant for grazing Sainfoin. We may plant it.