The Pennsylivania deer season ended Saturday so on Sunday we opened the pasture up to give the girls some fresh pasture, outside of the safety zone provided by the house and barn. We also put a bale of haylage in the feeder. This was the first bale of haylage we have used. It smells like candy and the sweet odor carries for hundreds of yards. Forgetful me neglected to turn the electric fence back on until I realized it at about nine o’clock at night. This morning I went to bring the girls in for a bit of grain as I do every morning and I was surprised to find just one lonely heifer waiting at the door. She bawled for her mates but none answered. I thought for sure the rest had gotten out and relocated to another county. I set out into the dark and rain to inspect the fence figuring I could find the break now and start tracking them as soon a some daylight came. Of course while I was doing this I congratulated myself for not remembering to turn the fence on! Eventually I started to make out their dark shapes ahead. Thankfully they never had gotten out but they did mass in the corner of the pasture as far from the barn as they could get. Why? They where enjoying some spruce branches I had pruned a week ago. I knew they liked to pick at low hanging spruce branches, and will even eat multiflora rose, when it is in the correct stage of growth, but it surprised me that despite having fresh pasture, a fresh bale of candy haylage and a standing appointment for a dish of grain they preferred to eat trees. I guess that’s why they are so thrifty!