Tuesday, October 28, 2014


Cinnamon's tail several days after the escapade.
The majority of the burrs are gone

There are only five cows left here. Well, actually, two cows, one heifer, two bulls and one steer. You might expect that so few would find fewer ways to get in trouble.

Alas, all it takes is one. A few days ago someone (not me) didn't quite chain the barnyard gate, which leads to the back of the home farm (which is not the one where the house is...go figure).

Marv, drinking from a muddy puddle.
There is a clean watering trough
a pond
and a creek
but mud is tastier, dontcha know?

Moon, Cinnamon, Marv and Bama Breeze discovered that open gate and exited in search of better and more abundant forage than can be found on the huge pasture they have all to themselves (said pasture has been known to feed fifty-one heifers from spring to fall without supplemental feeding in good years). Yeah, the poor things are obviously starving.

Anyhow, when I got to the barn to give the boss a hand that evening I had no trouble at all knowing they had been out.

Where there are cows there are no burdocks. They love them and eat them right down to the roots.

Where there are no cows there are plenty. Add cows in autumn and you have a terrible combination. Bama's tail from root to tip of switch was so covered with burrs that they were flaking off in sheets.

Heaven forbid she try to switch her tail.

Bama, days after the debacle
Imagine about ten times this many

The other three were not quite as well-endowed, but there was no shortage. 

Turns out the boss had to hunt them down with the tractor as they had been over quite a lot of ground and he has a bad knee. The ground was evidently rich in burdocks.

Where do you think he found them? Right in the other pasture, grazing on the pretty ridge overlooking the river, and joined by a bunch of deer.


Cathy said...

Whoa!!! Then the question has got to be : How the heck can they EAT burdock?
P.S. Boss needs to carry a camera. The deer and cow shot would'a been nice :)

joated said...

Cathy, they obviously eat it BEFORE those dang burrs form. The ones growing along the edge of my yard have huge, juicy leafs.

One thing I've noticed is that cows DO NOT eat thistle. Every pasture around here is dotted with three foot tall thistles tha the cows and steers carefully avoid as they gnaw everything else to the ground. Must be those nasty spines even the smallest leaves have in quantity.

Jacqueline Donnelly said...

Oh dear. Poor things. That mess of burs has GOT to hurt. That must have been quite a sight, the cows and the deer grazing together. I like to picture it in my mind. No ticks nor burs in my mind's picture!

June said...

Do the burrs eventually fall off or what? I can't imagine you picking all those things off multiple bovine tails.

Apparently, they feel the treat was worth the cost...

Terry and Linda said...

Yep, sounds like cows. And burrs in tails...what a mess!


threecollie said...

Cathy they only eat the soft leaves, but if they have access then the burrs never get a chance to grow.

Joated, yeah, that is pretty much the deal. They sure don't eat thistles though, you are right. hate the darned things!

Jacqueline, they don't seem to mind them at all. I guess their skin is pretty tough.

June, most of them fall off, the rest we will pick out when we get a chance. Kind of a miserable job, but we have done it before. lol

Linda, yes, sometimes it is good that there aren't sixty of them.