Friday night I fed Chuck and the horses their grain, went to get hay, and by the time hubby and I spread the hay Chuck was gone. Missing without a trace. Hubby took the ATV all around the pasture, twice; I searched his known napping spots. No Chuck.
Houdini steer. (Not to be confused with the Escape Horse.)
Hubby found a spot in the fence where he probably goes out. Since our last rain, I'd found cow prints in the mud in the hayfield and a too-fresh pile of poop so I'd wondered if he was going back and forth at will or if it was a neighbor's loose cow, although we never saw a loose cow and the neighbor never called about one, like he usually does.
Hubby finally found Chuck in the woods next to the hayfield. We didn't want to try driving him back in because we knew he'd go the wrong way and we didn't want to chase him. (I do need a herding dog.) So we left him and hoped he'd be where he belongs in the morning.
Which he was. He ambled out of the barn in the morning when I went out to feed. He obviously can go in and out whenever he pleases.
And the next evening, he did it all over again. And ambled out of the barn in the morning.
We are pretty sure that he won't go far when he gets out. He grazes, he takes a nap, he might graze some more, and then he comes back into the horse pasture. He doesn't go out the front fence to the road, or through the side fence to the neighbor's pasture.
Last night when we went out to feed, he was already (or still?) out in the hayfield.
As long as he isn't a problem, we've decided he can come and go for awhile, at least until the Escape Horse tries to follow him.