Cows too smart
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    Cows too smart

    This time of the year we always have a bit of trouble with cows and fences. We feed hay and supplement but the grass is always greener on the other side of the fence or something.

    Right now we have 3 cows that want to go walkabout. They aren't wild, are perfectly willing to walk back to the gate and stand there and be let back in the pasture but it's a PITA when cows don't stay where they should.

    Thursday afternoon, I took off work to see if I could see how they were getting out. I found a place in a high tensile fence that wasn't energized they were walking through. That fence is along some woods and it's tough to keep hot and we just hadn't heated it up. I added two strands of barbed wire to the existing smooth wire, added posts and generally tightened everything up. It's not exactly a rectangular field but for simplicity's sake, I'll say this was on the south side of the field and I added the wire across the entire width of the field. Just as I was putting tools away, here come our delinquents. They looked at my truck, looked at me and walked up about 6' feet from the fence. Cow eyed the fence and you could see cow brain working overtime. She didn't walk up to it but after a minute or so deliberately took a left turn and walked to the east side of the field which I had not worked on. She proceeded to walk through that fence. I ran her back through the fence and called her impolite names but it didn't do any good. This morning at 6:00 am all three cows were casually outside the fence.

    Today I checked insulators, added a few posts, cut brush etc. from the east fence and put an energizer on it. It's a solar energizer so not terribly powerful but hopefully enough to convince the cows to stay home. As soon as possible the delinquents are going on a truck. We don't need smart cows, we need cows that will stay home.

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    coaltrain's Avatar
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    Marlin's Avatar
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    We had these guys a couple years back. We brought them home as young two month old calves. Once off the trailer they both ran through three strands of barbed wire w/hot wire. We caught them, back in the pasture and they did it all over again.

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    We called for help and got them home again . . . but this time I locked them in the barn. A week or so later I had a paddock re-fenced with 4' field fence. They stayed in there for a few weeks while we re-fenced the remainder of the property.

    Expensive and time consuming but . . . haven't had one get out since.

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    etcallhome, Gizmo2, PaDave and 7 others like this.
    Marlin

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    Senior GTT Super Slacker Gizmo2's Avatar
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    Marlin's Avatar
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    Oh, btw . . .

    I had a friend years ago that had goats. He swore the buck could smell when the hot wire was turned off . . . then he'd go through the barbed wires.

    Just sayin' . . .
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    Marlin

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    Senior GTT Super Slacker Gizmo2's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Marlin View Post
    Oh, btw . . .

    I had a friend years ago that had goats. He swore the buck could smell when the hot wire was turned off . . . then he'd go through the barbed wires.

    Just sayin' . . .
    I'm totally certain a horse can tell. I think the hair on their nose stands up or is affected.
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    trboxman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gizmo2 View Post
    I'm totally certain a horse can tell. I think the hair on their nose stands up or is affected.
    I think they can smell it. I know that mine have associated the click of the charger cycling with it being on or off.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gizmo2 View Post
    I'm totally certain a horse can tell. I think the hair on their nose stands up or is affected.
    Ours are content the only time they have gotten out is when some moron leaves the gate open. We also have a solar fencer that's actually pretty weak at times, spring to fall we constantly have to walk the fence to keep tree branches and weeds off of it.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gizmo2 View Post
    I'm totally certain a horse can tell. I think the hair on their nose stands up or is affected.
    Quote Originally Posted by trboxman View Post
    I think they can smell it. I know that mine have associated the click of the charger cycling with it being on or off.

    Yep, his name was Ron Kinder, a EE @ Tektronix. He was a bachelor and certainly lived like one.

    Ron swore the buck could smell the 'ozone' given off by the electric charge going through the wire. ( That's above my 'pay-grade'.)

    Ron drove an old green IH he called a 'corn-binder'. When I got in the ditch on the Chehalem Mtn we live on the side of, Ron volunteered to pull me out. Chains on all four, winch cable run across the road to a tree and then to the back of my 1964 Chev pickup. Ron knew how to do it, straight forward, no issue.
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    Marlin

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    They know somehow

    Quote Originally Posted by trboxman View Post
    I think they can smell it. I know that mine have associated the click of the charger cycling with it being on or off.
    Our cows can tell. I don't know how but they can tell. Another odd thing is that young calves, like under a couple of weeks old seem immune to an electric fence. I've heard it's something about their hooves not being conductive for some reason but I really don't know. Possibly they just don't have an nervous system developed to feel it yet but whatever the reason they can walk right into a fence that's hot and show no sign of being bothered.

    I like cows. I like seeing them, working them and having them around, except when they don't stay put. Trees fall over, get disease and have other problems but the only time they leave the farm is when humans are around. . .

    Treefarmer
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