Archive for the ‘Cattle’ Category

The cattle continue to graze their way through the various pastures, although we haven’t yet started to rotate them with the sheep – perhaps that will wait until the flock is a little larger.

cattle on the move

The two young calves are doing very well, and enjoy hanging out with the Limousin “teenagers” when they’re not right at momma’s side.

They have generally stopped going under the electric wire to avoid the crowd, but the other day they kept putting themselves on the wrong side of the fence as Rupert was trying to move everyone through to the pasture beyond the pond. Of course, I’m never much help moving the cattle unless I’ve forgotten my camera back at the house. Hazel, however, continues to run circles around them, convinced she’s making all of the difference to the process, and proud of herself all the while…  hj

2 summer calves


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I’m often trying to clarify with Rupert – “what’s the difference between cattle and cows?”…I might be getting closer to understanding it all now, but I still tend to use the affectionate term cows as I’m traipsing after them with my camera, enjoying the melody of their munching on fresh pasture. When this little one was born (a bit of a surprise a few days after we brought the cows and spring calves home from the neighbour’s barn to join the others in the field), she went missing for a few hours, but showed up again close to momma the next morning. Rupert managed to corral mom and calf, and Hazel enjoyed watching them for a few days, making sure the calf was strong with good instincts, before we released them back to join the others.

 These pictures were taken a few weeks ago, and she has grown quite a bit since then. She also seems to have stopped her practice  of ducking under the electric fence to get some space away from the crowd.

Oh, and now that I’m getting a handle on cows and cattle, I’m going to try to tackle the definition of a “board”…   hj

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Each June, a few Middle School students come from Halifax Independent to work on the farm for the day. Over the years, they’ve driven the tractor, planted tomatoes, picked rock, taken breaks to jump in the hay, and cooled off with a swim in the pond, among other things. This year the weather wasn’t the typical Summerville sunshine, but spirits weren’t dampened as they worked to build a gate for the sheep pasture, planted trees at the edge of the back pasture, and helped construct the “Roman Road” through the field.

On The Job Day

Adel, Geoff M., Murray and Geoff C. with Rupert

The cattle seemed to take a particular interest in the guys (they may have been hoping for grain in the bucket, rather than spruce seedlings), and even waited patiently at the top of the field for us to emerge from the walk in the woods.

On the Job Day

Being followed by curious cattle

3 of these guys graduated from H.I.S. this year…perhaps we’ll see one of them come back to work on the farm, one day?


patient cattle

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We’re realizing that farming doesn’t leave a whole lot of time for blog-keeping, and that much of the news is a little old by the time we have a minute to stop and tell someone.
The story of Pedro the cat is one worth repeating, however.


A few weeks ago, the Olds (grades 3 and 4) came from the school for a visit on a Tuesday. It was surprising that Pedro was absent from the scene, as he’s the only cat I’ve ever seen run toward 19 six year olds. By the end of the week, we imagined the worst and thought we’d probably never find out what had really happened. But on Friday at 5:00 pm, Pedro appeared in the driveway, hungry and happy to see us, and unwilling to share any details.

The next day we heard from Helen that she had discovered him 20 minutes down the road in her brother’s barn…Pedro had hitched a ride on the truck that had come to pick up hay and, after having a 3 day tour of Pembroke, he was lucky enough to be found by someone he knew…what are the chances?

After catching up on his sleep, Pedro started his rounds on the farm again, as usual, including walking with us up the hill to move the cattle. The young ones seem particularly interested in him, and shortly after these pictures were taken, he was literally nose to nose with them, the entire herd of 30 close behind.

Rupert and I could only stand by and watch as the older, crabbier steer noticed the visitor and started a stampede that chased Pedro, hopping over the tall grass, down the length of the field toward the fence. Luckily they came to a stop just as Pedro crossed under the fence and turned to wait for us on the edge of the field. When we were done he marched along behind us back to the house…

Hazel, by the way, was oblivious to the excitement, as she hunted for mice in the long grass. We often comment on the role reversal.       hj

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Twenty-five head of cattle arrived on Sunday to share the pasture with our four. They are settling in nicely, and will be joined by our calves from last fall, shortly. The next to arrive will be the Berkshire piglets, and the fencing for the sheep is progressing. Should be a veritable zoo by June!

settling in

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