In December, my friend and neighbor placed forty five steers in the pasture next to mine as part of his annual gain program. Gain, for non-ranchers, is helping yearling steers get ready for the feedlot or auction by placing them in an environment that maximizes their growth potential.
These programs allow steers to gain between two and a half to three pounds per day. In a typical ninety-day program, the steer comes in weighing three hundred fifty pounds and leaves weighing over six hundred pounds. That’s under ideal conditions. This past winter was less than ideal.
In March, as my friend’s forage crop was eaten well down, he had one steer (#15235) that spent more of his time outside the fence than inside. Every day, it seemed, I or one of my neighbors would find the cow alongside the road eating the lush grass he couldn’t reach from inside the pasture. I named the little fella “Houdini” as no matter what my friend or I did to keep him inside, he found a way of escape.
As my friend’s grass and winter wheat was getting scarce, I could understand how the steers would stick their heads through the fence. They would do so to eat from my pasture where the clover and rye grass was three-foot tall. In fact, they had eaten a two-foot wide swath along our shared fence line all the way to the ground. Then, they moved to the roadside fences. This is where the fun began.
After the first few times I found “Houdini” walking along the side of the road feeding, we placed stays on the strands of barbed wire making up the fence. The stay keeps the individual strands equally spaced. Until one day I found my new buddy outside the fence. No sooner than I got him herded back into the pasture through the gate, he headed for the feedlot.
Curious, I returned to my truck and watched for a few minutes. It wasn’t long, I caught him behind the feedlot, nosing his way under the fence. This hog stretched the barbed wire with his head and neck. His brute strength doubled the stays to create enough space for him to fit between the one and two wires (bottom two strands of the fence). He then wiggled through, stood and looked at me (am pretty sure he snickered), and started eating his fill of tall grass.
I couldn’t help but laugh at his antics as I herded him back inside the pasture where he was safe. I took photos of the damaged fence and texted them to my friend; explaining what was happening. The next day, he put Houdini in jail by placing him inside the feedlot at his barn about a mile away. His solitary confinement solved the problem of making the turn on our country road to drive headlong into a cow.
Finding the photo (above) on my phone, I chuckled as I remembered this little steer’s antics. I wasn’t upset at his getting out all the time. We all desire to chase “greener pastures” in our lives. I thought of 1 Corinthians 7:24 (NKJV) that states “Brethren, let each one remain with God in that state in which he was called.” Live as you are called; what a wonderfully simple concept, but oh so difficult for us humans to apply in our lives. We too seem to have an inane desire for “greener pastures.”Do you find satisfaction where you are in life or are you always looking for greener pastures? Click To Tweet
A new job, new mate, new church, or new adventure; it seems many of us are never fully satisfied with what we have. At least I was that way in my youth. You? As I’ve gotten older, I’m not as bold as I used to be. Perhaps it’s because as I’ve grown closer to God, I am finding I need less to satisfy me and want more to please Him.