One of several significant events in a cowboy’s year is the day every spring when the feeding ends and the cows are turned out to grass. Most years in Montana that day arrives late in May – but it seems to be coming early this year.
The early part of this week was unseasonably warm, and I actually got several days of farming done. We finished harrowing the hayfields and two passes tearing up an old hayfield. We had the last calf for the year, and turned out most of the remaining pairs into the bigger “outside” bunch.
The temperature got up to 80o this week, and the grass was beginning to grow – not enough however to sustain either the cows or the health of the grass. The cows are getting pretty particular about the quality of hay we feed them. They are as tired of eating hay as we are of feeding it, and they walk away from what is too course to suit them.
One never knows, however, what the course of the weather will be. After a week of fine grass-growing weather another storm blew in.
If it warms next week, we could turn the cows out to grass early this year. If it turns cold again we’ll be feeding for awhile. Farming is on hold for a few days at least, until the field dries off a bit.