Our beloved Belted Galloway steer ‘Spencer’ (named after his white undergarment he wears loud and proud) has been vacationing with a herd of 30ish heifers and one BIG bull next door for the past 3 weeks. We tried unsuccessfully to bring him home last weekend, (complete with the helpful nudgings of a terrotorial bull), but as the fading light dwindled, Spencer deftly launched himself back through the fence to a chorus of loud bellowing cheers (not ours). (don’t ask about the many swearings and cursings of both Spencer and the neighbours who haven’t adequately serviced the fence)… so we let him sit for another week enjoying the grazing companionship of some young heifer beauties.
Today we were successful in luring him home. Under the expert guidance of Leon we designed a plan of slowly moving the herd through each paddock and siphoning off a few cattle each time, until the last paddock where we only had two left. A fine effort in animal husbandry and a new understanding of the power of gates and paddocks in moving your beasts. Spencer got a whiff of his fav dessert: lucerne with a dollop of molasses and he was anybody’s; heifers and the wide horizons of the hills next door forgotten in a munch and crunch. He looked longingly at me from the yard, but i quietened my heart strings and assured him he would be happy to be home amongst his smaller crowd of 3.
We are hatching a plan to buy 3 baby herefords to raise for beef in the very near future, calling for contributors who want to be in on some home grown beef action! Included in the mix will be another Belted Galloway to add to the flock (any collective noun suggestions other than ‘herd’?) who may also be fattened up for beef and a hefty fur rug, but if i have my way, will remain as part of the family and a companion for Spence evermore.