Moving Cows to Spring Pasture

After having a few weeks of warm spring weather, the cold has hit again! Thankfully it didn’t rain or snow on us while we were moving cows (or maybe not since we are going back into a drought). At least we didn’t have to deal with being wet and miserably cold. I was hoping to get pictures of our ride, but the wind was too chilly to take my hands out of my gloves for long. So I only took one picture of our second ride!

Every spring, we move our mama cows to the river to have their calves. Both of the moves we make to the river are tough rides, and we can’t take any little babies. So we try to get them to the river before they start calving in mid-March to the 1st of April. This is the first year we haven’t had at least one calf on the ground before moving them, so everyone got to go with us.

The first move we made is the more difficult one. It is very steep and rocky, so much so that for the last mile, we tie our horses and go in on foot. Which is fine going downhill, but coming back up is a struggle! Especially since it is my first real bit of exercise after a slightly sedentary winter, so I was pretty out of shape. Mom walks everywhere, so she is in excellent shape and has no problem breezing back up the hill! But I was most definitely huffing and puffing. We all made it out alive (it was a little touch and go for a while!), and it went pretty smooth.

The second move we made was much easier because we don’t take them clear down to the river. We only take the cows about a quarter of a mile down the hill. We still have to walk that quarter of a mile, though. The quarter of a mile down the hill turned out to be more like ¾ of a mile because we took the wrong trail. We went too far down the hill before we turned to go along the hillside and had to drive the cows up a steep draw into where they get water. But, again, we made it, and everyone was happy when it was all over!

For the next couple of months, they’ll stay on the river, and our moves will be easier. We basically just keep opening gates to the next pastures and let the cows move on when they are ready. Once most of them are out of the old pastures, we take a ride through and clean out the ones that hadn’t already moved on. But the old cows know the routine and teach the younger ones, so it is much less labor-intensive! Hopefully, I will be able to get more pictures next time around, though!

Happy Journeys,


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