Brent has been working and designing cattle pens. We are designing a pen for low-stress animal handling. Brent took pieces from low-stress animal handling experts that work with our size herd as well as our animal handling skills. The result is simple and something the cows will happily trot through. We’ve used the existing pens (held together with baling wire) in the past as a rough draft. Some aspects were dreamy while others were tough. He’s eliminated the tough parts.
One of the big finds this week is that his design will fit into our old barn buildings. He originally set the pens up on a clean slate just outside our existing barns. This allowed him the freedom to come up with exactly what he wanted without existing silliness getting in the way. Then he ran his design past a farmer friend and they shifted it into our existing structures as a thought experiment. The result could save thousands of dollars as well as uncover a beautiful, old building.
Brent kicked off the demo by opening up an extremely not-so-stable “wall.” When the final panel came down, Brent, Zélie-in-the-backpack and me stood and oogled at the most astounding view. Pasture, trees, vineyard, classic Gascon farmhouse were perfectly posed in the distance. Before it was tired, stringy plastic, rotting wood posts and heavy steel panels. Now it is Oz. This view of the distance and pasture will help the cows happily move through the pens.
Legend demonstrates how a calf would hop through the hacked together veal pen. This will be removed.
CandyShop “guards” the crappy wooden fence used as a barrier. This will be replaced with a metal barrier with five or six horizontal bars.