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Wednesday, May 6, 2009

The Bull Again

This actually happened a couple of weeks ago when we got a new calf.

The calf was from a first calf heifer that was up in the bull pen. Usually when we see that they are close to calving we bring them back to the milking herd to get used to the process of being herded and to be able to keep a better eye on them. But it was so muddy that we decided to leave her there. We made a couple of trips a day checking on her.

One morning I found her up there with her little heifer calf. We decided to do something different to get them. We took both 4-wheelers; one with the little calf cart, which I drove. We were going to load up the calf, lead the cow to the corral with the calf and then shut them up.

Well. It was a good idea in theory, but it proved hair-raising in practice. You see, the bull does not like noisy, rattly things that invade his territory, they make him steaming mad. So he threw one wall-eyed fit. Hubby did a bit of discouraging with some bird-shot, which kept Mr. Bull at a bit of a distance, but he was still too close for comfort.

We got the calf loaded and were headed back toward the corral when things got exciting. The bull goes into his "I'm a Tough Guy" routine. La, I wish I could get a video of it and post it; pawing and tossing clods of dirt over his back, throwing his head around, snorting, blowing and bellowing. He weighs close on to a ton and could quite easily toss the 4-wheeler around; a little bit of birdshot is not going to deter him if he's determined. I was more than a little apprehensive, you might guess.

So anyway, I was headed toward the corral with the rattling calf cart in tow, when Bull decides to cut me off at the pass. He trots in front of me; a few yards away still, but obviously wanting to challenge me. I head around him the other direction. He changes course as well. I might add that to complicate measures the other 11 heifers in there thought this was great entertainment and were cavorting all around us as well, happily kicking their heels and tossing their heads. So this whole procession, myself in the lead with hubby in back somewhere, zig-zags all over the pasture and finally gets to the corral. (Much to my relief; I was sweating with nerves.)

We get the cow in the corral and take off with another load of birdshot to clear the way. We took both 4-wheelers home and went back with truck and trailer to get the cow from the corral. Mr. Bull thinks he will have the last word; he sees us taking off to leave and he gets right in front of us at the gate and does his pawing, head slinging routine. Once again a little birdshot cleared the way, but it was touch and go getting the truck and trailer out of the pasture because Bull and heifers like to chase it.

On the way out hubby comments that the poor calf must have thought she was being rustled; all the commotion and shooting.

Such is dairy farming; mostly boring, but spiced with fun incidents like this. We will probably never do that again. Thank God!


Solomon said...

That sounds positively terrifying! No way would I be able to do that.

jel said...

that sounds like ya were have some fun ;)

Calfkeeper said...

Oh, both of you...terrifying fun!

ha ha ha.