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March 7, 2012 | Vineyard | OS VINE

Cows in the Vineyard

Our daily routine is just that, pretty routine. Each morning after breakfast, we all walk to the vineyard to prune. I say "we" loosely, because this "we" also includes our two cows and Bob.

Each morning Buttercup (our black family milk cow) and Emme (short for Emmentaler cheese) wait for us by the hot wire fence to take them to the vineyard. Emme is a jersey heifer purchased with the anticipation of more milk but we have had problems breeding her. Hopefully, we will find out this week if she is pregnant or not. If not, she will probably be sold. :( She is such a nice cow but a 700+ lb pet is a bit large to keep when she essentially brings no benefit through milk production.

With winter here there is not much green anything for them to graze. But, in the vineyard, we have rye planted between the rows to stop the dirt from blowing. It is beautiful and green and there are also plenty of weeds for them to eat - they love both! Allowing them to graze at the vineyard has really saved on our feed bill. Since the vines have not yet budded, there is nothing for them to hurt - it is a win-win situation.

The boys lead them over to the vineyard with a lasso around their necks (the cows' necks, that is). They lead very easily and since each is wearing a cow bell, they ding-a-ling as they go.

As you can see from the picture below, a snack is needed for the journey! 1/6 of a mile is a long way!

Once at the vineyard, both cows go up and down the rows as if trying to find the most delicious mouthfuls. It brings back wonderful memories of our 4 years in Switzerland as they walk with their bells ringing. We used to hear both cows and sheep grazing on the hillsides with their bells ringing. Once the wind stops blowing so much (it might be awhile here in west Texas!), I would like to post a video so you can hear them too!


As always, the grass (or weeds in this case) is always greener on the other side of the vine row.

When their first course is complete, the wander up to the center of the vineyard where we have a barrel of water for them.

So goes the day - first, second, third, fourth and I honestly don't know how many courses they actually have in their menu, until they are led home at evening!  


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