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'The cows are eating Momma's petunias!'

Posted 9/19/2018 4:58pm by Kinley Coulter.

     A few weeks ago, the family was trying to finish up breakfast and get the day started here at Coulter Farms.  I was gazing, forlornly, into my empty tea mug, knowing that once the tea cup is empty it’s time to get up from the table and fight that day’s alligators.  As fate would have it… the first battle of the day was not with alligators.  

 


     I happened to glance up from the depressingly empty mug, and out the window.  Oh Great, just perfect!  Jersey cows munching contentedly on green grass.  This is not, in itself, an unusual thing… after all, this IS a dairy farm.  What commanded my consternation was that these cows were not in the pasture, but in the yard, and the grass they were munching was my lawn..... not to mention every living thing in our vegetable garden and Rebecca’s flower beds!  

     What started out as several errant cows nosing around the house, quickly turned into an unruly mob of a 20 or more bovine trespassers… bent on mayhem and wanton destruction.  It was just a little comical (to me… Rebecca was NOT impressed and strongly exhorted me to ‘quit taking pictures and DO something’) to be nose to nose with cows slobbering on the living room windows… waiting to be invited in, or so it seemed.  



     I went outside, barefoot… still lugging my empty tea cup.

 It wasn’t as intimidating as a herding stick… but it is a fairly stout mug and it made me feel like a force to contend with to have something, anything, to wave threateningly at the cattle while they nonchalantly devoured our green bean plants… oblivious to my ranting about how despicable their behavior was.   It didn’t take long to realize that I (badly) needed help!  It turned out that the normally docile cows were wound up and were in the mood for some fun (fun for them, not for me).  After briefly chasing the cows and watching them scatter to all four points of the compass, I came back to the house for reinforcements, and boots, and a stick to wave menacingly.  Jessica and Jacob and I got a lot more respect from the frisky escapees than I had gotten when I was alone and barefoot.  In no time we had corralled  the cows into a tight herd and coerced them back into the pasture.

   
     After a brief investigation of the crime scene, we found the culprit... a 12’ gate hanging wide open.  It had, apparently, been open for two days before the cows discovered it.  It occurred to me that it might pay us, in the long run, to raise replacement cows from the ‘law-abiding' half of the dairy herd that chose to not walk out of the pasture into the yard that they knew, full well, was forbidden.  I’ve never heard of selective breeding against trespassing in dairy cows… but I am marking down the miscreants down in my little black book… I won’t soon forget.   On second thought, maybe, instead of a breeding protocol… we could just close our pasture gates.


     Here are the girls, trying to salvage the tattered remnants of the sweet corn patch.  Another day on the farm......