Wednesday, August 31, 2016


25 March 2016  Well yesterday was the big day to ear tag our new calves, castrate the male one, and drench all of the cattle. It started out perfectly with me on the quad bike in front leading them down to our neighbours yards and Ross following up at the rear on foot. We easily got them through all the gates and into the yards.

We took each of the calves through the race with their mothers so they wouldn't be nervous. I gave a little squirt on their backs and then they were on to Ross.

Ear tagger in his right hand, elastrator in his left
Bam-Bam and his mother Wilma went through first. Bam-Bam pushed his head right into the head holder and the ear tag was in quickly. Then Ross picked up the dreaded elastrator and reached for the dangly bits - - but there weren't any! Just some small teats! What had looked like the male anatomy in the middle of the belly from a distance was just a flap of skin leftover from where the umbilical cord had been. With a great sigh of relief from Ross (and probably from Bam-Bam also!), Ross released him from the run to be back with his mother, who had gone through first. Maybe we should change his - - I mean her - - name to Bambi?

Next was Pebbles who also went through easily with mother Milkshake. We were pleased to find no surprises there and only an ear tag was required. So there was only Stew left to squirt the anti-parasitic onto his back - should only take a minute right?

As backbround, Stew is a steer and almost 6 years old. He had a Devon mother and Angus father. His mother died when he was 3 weeks old so I hand reared him til he was 3 months old using a pail with a nipple on it. He grew into a handsome but very large steer who is quite docile and loves to be scratched and petted. He doesn't realize how big he is compared to me so I have to be careful not to be between him and a gate when he wants to give my a nuzzle!

Well, back to the present. Stew did not want to go into the race and gave Ross quite a fight - for good reason as it turns out. He is too big for the race and he got stuck.
We eventually got him through most of the race but after the last corner, he gave up and wouldn't go any further. He hung his head down and refused to budge.
Ross decided the best thing was to leave him alone for awhile so we left him stuck there for an hour. Ross then went back, gave him a good head scratch, got Milkshake to come and moo at him and he finally bulldozed his way through the last few feet of the race! He was no worse for the wear at the end thankfully but the cattle sure sprinted up the driveway back to our place! 

Not very impressive farmers are we? Can't tell a boy from a girl. Won't listen to Stew when he tells us he won't fit in the race. But all our fruit and vegies are looking great right now. Here's a little sampling.
Od'Ham Watermelon - delicious!

Dayton apples - they make pink applesauce

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