Friday, March 13, 2009

Being Big, Being Bullish

Oh dear, this morning one of the not so fun farm things. I needed to hold the bull back, to keep him from getting in the barn with a new mom and her calf. The calf was born outside, and with the current temps and snow level, we move the mom and calf into the barn - just safer for the calf in the first days of life. And gives the mom and babe time to bond, and for the cow to get fed and watered without leaving her new one or fighting off other cows.

We have Polled Herefords with a little other breed mixed, but bull is all hereford - more gentle than most bovine breeds. But still very big animals and Bulls are more aggressive usually than cows anyway. We also keep the bull with the herd of bred cows, because we have found being with other animals, bulls are more content and don't get as ornery or aggressive as when they are penned separately.

The drawback comes on days like today when we have not been sharp enough to spot a soon to calve cow and don't get her into the barn before she drops the babe.

Cows are really nosy, and they all want to sniff the new baby and the Bull does the same and wants to follow along.

The challenge for me was to hold him off without being over aggressive myself - If one gets to pushy, the bull pushes back harder and might charge you. But if you are not assertive enough, he will walk over you as well.

Thankfully, got the balance and held him back -- yikes that can be scary standing in front of a ton and a half of live bull. Plus the cow and calf moved in well. Frank had the calf on a child's plastic sled pulling it in with the cow following behind, nose to calf. Cow did not balk going through gate. Whew.

All is well.

Bull is happy. Cow is happy. Calf is standing already and is a beauty.

1 comment:

Thoughts on Life and Millinery. said...

This is so much fun to read! My college roommate was an Animal Science major (I was Home Ec.) and she inherited a 1,000 acre ranch ourside of Roseberg Oregon. I loved her stories about her cattle and pigs and goats and sheep deliveries! The pictures were great.