Showing posts with label Cows. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Cows. Show all posts

Tuesday, August 06, 2019

The Great Calf Chase of August 5

I sat down and put my sneakers on, and stood up. I looked out the front window of the bedroom like I always do.

And there was a calf in the front yard. A 300-pound, not-yet-weaned black Angus calf, to be exact. One of ours, I knew, because it had a red tag in its ear.


My husband, of course, was at the firehouse in Roanoke, a good 25-minute drive away. The calf, I hoped, would go back in of its own accord, but meanwhile I couldn't leave on my errands because it might make its way down the driveway and onto the highly traveled two-lane road. The one that leads to the dump and the cement plant. The one that people speed down, doing 60 mph. The one where the calf might be hit by a car and we could be liable for damages.

I called my husband to tell him we had a calf out. It is difficult to run a calf back in when there is only one person, let alone when that person isn't the healthiest in the world. My husband also muttered a few explicit curse words and said he would be home as soon as he could.

Meanwhile, I watched the calf. Two large cows stood on the right side of the fence, having a chat. One licked the other, and the one who was licked turned its head and uttered a very low "moo" in the direction of the calf.

The two cow friends then sauntered away from the fence, toward the watering trough, which is nearly completely out of sight from the house.

Junior there in the front yard panicked. Mom was leaving. Mom! Wait!

To my utter dismay, the calf rushed the fence, bounced off of it, and then began trotting along the fence row, looking for a way back to its mother.

Trotting the fence row in the direction that would lead to the road, I noted.

I grabbed my cellphone and a cane. I don't use a cane anymore (I did for several years but can mostly manage without it now), but chasing a calf demanded movement and movement on uneven ground demanded more of me than I can normally manage.

The only vehicle on the place I can drive is my car, so I backed it out of the garage and slowly drove down the driveway, trying to see where the calf was.

I was just in time to see its rear end prance over the hill down the driveway, straight towards the road.


I drove the car to the hill in the driveway. The calf was trying vainly to get through the fence. He would race toward it, hit the wire, and fly backwards. This one is not the brightest one born, I suppose.

In order not to panic the calf, I stayed a distance a way. I tried to think who I could call who could come up the driveway and run the calf toward me. There was no one close except my 85-year-old mother-in-law and I didn't think that would be a good idea.

The calf turned and came toward the car. I backed up a bit, trying to keep a good distance so it would come on back towards the house. To my right, I saw my neighbor's pickup truck come down her driveway. Look this way, I thought. Look and see that I need you to come up my driveway.

She went in the opposite direction.

The calf bolted and went around my car, headed away from the road. I started down to turn around and my neighbor's pickup truck came into sight.

Lanetta is close to 80 years old. She had Bob with her, who's also close to 80, I suppose, and he had a stroke back in the winter. I'm not that old, but I gimp around and am no athlete.

"I thought you might need some help," Lanetta explained. "I thought that calf was out."

I nodded and said I needed to turn around. They let me out and then proceeded to follow the calf up the hill again, toward the house.

The calf continued, on occasion, to throw itself against the fence. Finally it turned the corner and I thought we had it.

We have a gate in the back yard that leads to the pasture fields. I hadn't opened it because I had no way to keep the other cattle from coming out while I chased the calf. Bob opened the gate while I wandered around the front to shoo Junior to the gate. He was heading in the right direction.

Then Junior saw Bob and bolted again, running right by me. Once more the critter raced down the fence line. I raced for my car, (if you can call a fast, stiff walk racing) and had it turned around and headed back down in time to see the calf's butt once more head over the hill.

Yep. Straight towards the road.

This time the calf didn't stop. I debated speeding up and trying to drive in front of it. I also considered calling animal control for help because if this pitiful little calf didn't find its mother quickly I was going to have a problem.

The calf went on into the road. No one was coming, thankfully. Then he went into the ditch, constantly throwing itself against the fence. I called my husband on his cell; he was on his way. I turned on my blinkers and sat in the road while the calf beat itself against the fence and occasionally came back up onto the road only to go back to the fence again. Bob pulled up in the truck behind me.

We have another gate down at the road. I hoped he would move on in that direction and I could open that gate.

But no.

Junior decided he would get back into the road. In a wild-eyed panic, he began trotting down the asphalt toward the driveway entrance, away from the gate. To my horror, in my rearview mirror I saw a blue car coming from the opposite direction. I quickly turned my car around at the gate.

The blue car, fortunately, stopped. The calf stopped, too, for a few seconds, then back up my driveway he flew. I raced to get behind him. The blue car drove on. My hope was to at least trap it in the front yard somehow.

That calf was fast. He'd given up on getting through the fence and by the time I got back up the hill, I couldn't see him. I went on up to the house where Lanetta had stayed to guard the gate.

The calf, she said, came running around the fence line and raced through the open gate as soon as it saw it.

I looked and watched it race over the hill toward the watering trough, bawling as it went. I just knew it was going, "Mamma! Mamma!"  Mamma didn't seem too concerned, though.

I thanked my older helpers for their assistance. Then I called my husband. He was in Daleville, he said, and would come on home to check the fence.

My neighbors left and I went back inside to finish getting ready for a trip to the grocery store.

I picked up some nice hamburgers for dinner tonight. After that morning, red meat on the menu sounded like a good idea.

Monday, June 11, 2018

Newborn Calf

This little one was born in the field in front of the house recently. The baby had a drink, took a nap, and then mama moved him to someplace safe.

Cows usually "hide" their young for three days, taking them to the shelter of cedar trees or sometimes  a brush pile (though I am not sure a brush pile - which has to be full of snakes and bees and other critters, is a safe place).

Afterwards, mother and calf join the herd. If there are other mamas with calves close to the same age, sometimes they babysit for one another. It is very cool to watch.

Friday, March 09, 2018

Sometimes All You Have Is a Picture of a Cow

These are my neighbor's cows. Ours are on the other side of the farm where I can't see them unless I go hunting for them.

Wednesday, March 07, 2018

A Lot of Bull

This is Mr. Socks. That is what I decided to call him after I saw his muddied legs.

Mr. Socks is the newest addition to our cattle herd.

He is young, Mr. Socks is.

This is Bull. He was Bull 2 but we sold Bull 1. So now he is just Bull.

Bull is getting bigger. He is a little older than Mr. Socks.

Even though Bull is not very old, either, I wouldn't want to cross him.

Wednesday, August 02, 2017

When the Cows Come Home

We have had a couple of young cows finding their way out of the fence of late. This morning, one came knocking on the door seeking a glass of milk.

Knock knock. Guess who!

Hey, how about a nice glass of milk?

Yes, I am a good-looking cow, thanks to all of that milk!

Won't I fetch a handsome price at auction?

They don't find their way to the front porch very often. Generally speaking, they get out an average of once a year. Half the time we can never find the hole in the fence to fix it. They perform some kind of cow magic with the fences, I guess.

Monday, April 24, 2017

Meanwhile, Back on the Farm

We had a new calf born in front of the house this weekend.

Newly born.

Needs a good licking.

Lots to clean off!

First try at standing up.

Oops. Didn't make it that time!

Now the little one is up!

Here I am!

Mom and baby, maybe an hour + old.

Monday, August 29, 2016

Twin Calves

We haven't had twin calves born on the farm in a long time - so imagine our surprise when a cow we knew was close to calving had twins last night!

They are so cute!

Friday, May 27, 2016

Monday, May 09, 2016

The Littlest Calf

Wednesday, May 04, 2016

Amongst the Herd

Monday, April 11, 2016

Spring Valley (with cows)

Can you see the rainbow?

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Thursday Thirteen

1. Friend: Have you ever had borsht?
   Me: Isn't that the group on Star Trek that forces you to assimilate? (Borsht, apparently, is some kind of Polish or Russian soup. I'd never heard of it. Borgs, on the other hand, turn you into something you weren't before. Resistance is futile.)

2. My new acupuncturist told me yesterday that I am a black hole. I take everything in and hold it, never letting it back out, she said. Black holes in space pull things in but never let them out; it's a gravitational thing. Black holes are so full of stuff that they become invisible. Black holes cannot be observed; they are known because the things that should be where they are, aren't. Or something like that.

3.  She also tells me I think too much. I never know how to respond to that - she's not the first person to say it. How can you think too much? Apparently a lot of people do. Here's a WikiHow that tells you how to stop thinking. Now I have to think about thinking too much.

4. Owning rental property is like that movie The Money Pit. The place is a black hole of its own, constantly creating a sucking sound in my checkbook.

5. My last tenant destroyed a door, left three huge holes in the wall, removed several other doors, shower heads, and the inside of toilet parts, and then made obscure threats to me when I wouldn't refund his deposit (I visited the sheriff about that, in case Mr. Jerk happens to read my blog.) He called his destruction "normal wear and tear." What is wrong with people? I've lived in my house for 28 years and not once put a hole in the wall.

6. Yesterday I saw two coyotes trotting along around 2:15 p.m., too quickly for me to get a photo of them. They went into the woods in front of the house. My husband was cutting hay in the next field, and he saw one of the coyotes stroll in front of him. He said it was a female, heavy with milk. So we probably have baby coyotes around here close by. Cue howling.

7. Officials say that vultures will not harm livestock. Tell that to this mother cow with her newborn:

My cousin came and stood guard over the baby until the vultures grew tired and went elsewhere for their fun. They've been known to kill calves and/or peck their eyes out.

8. I keep a calendar of exercises and pain for my physical therapist. Somehow I got off a week, and didn't realize it until Tuesday. For a moment I panicked, not knowing if it was May 12 or May 19. It was a quick glimpse into how I think a person with dementia must feel. I imagine it is a scary place.

9. I had to learn how to play Soft Kitty on the guitar because no one would sing it to me. Now I want to turn it into a full-fledged guitar song, but will need to sit down and write it out in tab form. I can hear it in my head but can't make my fingers find the sounds.

10. I spied this goose in the marsh. She's nesting. I hope the coyotes don't get her!

11. My beloved came home yesterday with a severe case of gout. I couldn't make him 'fess up as to what he had been eating. Gout is caused by too much uric acid, which gathers in the joint of the big toe. It's a type of arthritis. I know his triggers are red meat, seafood, asparagus, spinach, and mushrooms, among other things. We don't eat those much in my house (kind of ironic since we raise beef cattle, isn't it?). But I have no control over what he eats at the fire station.

12. Bing, the search engine, offers rewards for using it. I've received $10 in Amazon gift cards since I signed up. I use the gift cards for video game play on my Kindle Fire. Other types of rewards are available, like gift cards to Macy's and restaurants. You can even make donations to a couple of worthy causes. I switched to Bing because Google seems to return nothing but paid information anymore. (Nobody paid me to mention Bing, but I thought people might like the idea of free stuff.)

13. I like bacon. That's just a random fact because I couldn't think of anything else to say.

Thursday Thirteen is played by lots of people; there is a list here if you want to read other Thursday Thirteens and/or play along. I've been playing for a while and this is my 396th time to do a list of 13 on a Thursday.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

New Baby

I love it when they give birth in front of the house and I can watch the whole process. Always a miracle.

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Wooo Cow! Wooo!