The two cows turned into FOUR.
Monday: hubby went to town and called me to tell me that there were two more out on the road. When he came home, he saw them behind our fence. (We really have to find the "hole" in our fence!) When I went out to feed in the evening, the first two cows had been reunited with their two calves and all was right in their world. Where were the calves for the past week? How did they find their mommies? Was there a trail of bread crumbs to follow?
The four watched me as I fed the horses and the sheep and Dawg... and mooed softly to remind me of their presence. They could not understand why I didn't feed them too. (Don't worry, there is plenty of grass for them to eat in the hayfield.)
The good thing: July was still in the horse pasture in the evening. Perhaps four cows are intimidating? "Two's company, four's a herd"?
Tuesday: July was in the hayfield with the cows in the morning. The calves were lying down in a hollow. I finally remembered to write the note I'd been planning. I put it in a plastic sandwich bag so it would not get wet in case a few days went by before it was noticed, and taped it securely to the gate of the pasture down the road from which I thought they'd escaped. An hour later my phone rang, and a young man told me he didn't think any were missing. As we talked, though, the bright yellow ear tags convinced him that they were indeed part of the herd - they'd recently re-tagged them all with yellow tags. "A bunch" had gotten loose two weeks ago but he thought he'd gotten them all. An oil company has wells in the pasture and the workers keep leaving the gate open.
So he and hubby drove out to the hayfield and the cows snapped to attention when they saw the pickup. I provided reinforcement from the rear, and they decided to follow him in hope of food. However, rather than follow the truck through the open gate to the road, they preferred to exit the way they had entered - over the fence - so now we know where it needs attention. Erosion has built up a spot under the fence and it was an easy jump for them. We'll add another strand or two of barbed wire to the top.
Off they went to their pasture and their buddies. I might miss them.