So we have a bull. And he is a red and white bull. Not ours, a rented one that comes for a six week package all inclusive holiday. A bull that had no experience of electric fencing. Yes, he cantered through it like it was the ribbon at the finish line when he first arrived. However, we had deliberately done it so it wasn’t the end of the world, all he had done was headed for the part of the field with less grass, more reeds and no ladies. He then refused to come back. This should have given a warning that this bull was no Mr Clever Clogs.
Fast forward to my last field shifting exercise and all the ladies followed the clue. Stand at the gate, whistle, they all come through. Welcome Sweet Muppet and our steer calves. Now, fair do for the calves as they are less familiar with shifting fields. But a bull is not something I want to be up close and personal with. And after hanging about patiently waiting for Sweet Muppet to shift his sweet rear end through the gate, I may have quietly whispered that if he didn’t get his act together he would be joining the same process as all the other male cattle. Now, that threat was not one I could follow through with but how does he know that? So, he shifted. And since then he has been much better at following the rest of the herd when stock rotating.
Until this evening. Sweet Muppet decided that he didn’t want to step over the electric fence. He then bellowed that he had been left behind. He cantered off along the fence while I decided to make a swift exist from the field in case he decided to run back. But no. So I went off to work on the polytunnel to give him time to work it out. Sweet Muppet still refused to cross the line. I undid it to give him a gap with no fence. He still refused. I reeled it in. He still refused. I wondered if I should have just spoken to him. Told him the electric was off, that the line was gone and it would be better to just head for the new grass. But I didn’t. Time was running out as I was trying to solve the water system in the polytunnel. Figured he would eventually work it out.
And as I write this, Sweet Muppet has finally joined the cows. Well, the ones he’s supposed to be with. Thank goodness he doesn’t drink Red Bull…