Aaggghhh - I dislike cows very much right now.
Cows are the worst creatures for destroying round bales if they have free access to them, which ours do since they graze with the sheep on an open pasture of bales. If one is going to bale graze with cattle the cows need to have restricted access to make it work well.
When they destroy bales it creates a mound of packed hay with twines still there somewhere that have to be hunted for. The cows don’t bother to clean up all the feed before going on the next bale either. This annoys me greatly because I can’t unroll a mound of hay so it means I do a lot of pitch forking to spread the remaining feed around both for clean up and for the sake of future grass growth there. It means my half hour chores take twice as long. Besides I'm there every day to unroll feed for them - feed that is easier to access than tied up round bale is. I don't get the need to move from bale to bale when there is plenty of feed at foot.
Normally I take this cow mess pretty lightly because normally it is only an occasional deal. I’m not about to create a seperate feed area for a handful of cows, nor can I pound any fence posts to string wire onto since the ground is very frozen. So I accept the cons of having a handful of personal beef cows with the flock.
But this morning, when it looked as though each cow had taken a seperate bale and destroyed it, I was very quickly annoyed with all cows and cursed them the whole time I was forking hay.
Maybe nature will have a neat solution to the extra thick bale rings on the pasture this spring. Maybe the cows will return to clean up eventually. Maybe there is a hidden bonus to the mess I haven't realized yet. I suppose in the end it will all work itself out. Meantime, today I have six cows for sale.
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