Drove my van over to the barn this morning, since I had a 50 lb bag of feed, and bags of pine shavings to unload.
The boys came in to eat while I was mucking out their stalls. Today promised to be a nice warm day – which means all the snow will melt, and all will be a mudhole!!!
While I was mucking, the big guy, always the sentinel and alarmist, whirled around in his stall, snorting and blowing steam, and ran out to the entrance of the paddock. His attitude caused the old man to run out and see what was up.
I knew that look – it’s the look that means cows are afoot!!! The two horses took off along the perimeter of the fence, snorting and staring across the field. I went out of the barn to check it out and, sure enough – there was a cow – actually one lone calf! But, being bovine is all it takes to send my horses into a tizzy!!!
The old man has had an extreme dislike of cows, or anything with hooves that is not equine in nature- particularly when they invade his turf!!! He won’t invade theirs- so stands to reason, he would expect them to respect his property!!!
Since I had the van with me, and have used it as a cutting horse before, I took off across the field to see if I could head this little cow off at the pass!!
No such luck, the cute little guy was bound and determined to outrun the van – and I didn’t want him going over the edge of the field, so I zoomed over to the neighbor, to let him know one of his calves was loose and visiting me!!!
Number 71, as he was ID-ed by his little pink ear tag, is half Angus, half Simmental, and was one of a group of calves the neighbor had brought over from his other barn- all had been just pulled from their mothers- which would explain the constant bawling and bellowing I had heard over there for the past two days.
This little bull- to- be, was a rogue, as the neighbor called him, and a jumper- he managed to get out of the penned in area of the barn – and also managed to scramble around the electric fence and out of the fields. He crossed the road into my field.
Now, I don’t want to anthropomorphise this little guy – but, I am sure he was looking for his mother!He looked lost and sad! The farmers laugh at my way of thinking – after all, these cows are bred to be income and dinner on the table.
But looking into the huge liquid black eyes of this beautiful red baby bull, I know he was missing his mama. He was bound and determined to find her, but sadly, he never would…….
When faced with two vehicles, the calf was easily herded back across the road into his own field. The farmer mentioned that the calves would be going to Staunton to auction, so this “rogue” would soon be someone else’s problem and escaping elsewhere!!
This afternoon, I took 3 of my dogs to a rabies clinic to get their 3 year shots. I ran into the farmer’s daughter there. She heard about my little escapade with the calf. Actually, that is the second time I have been herding their cattle with my van (see an earlier post). She informed me that #71 and his barn mates were taken to Staunton already. I didn’t realize they were going today!
I was kind of hoping the little red bull would come back for a visit. I am hoping , pretty as he is, he will end up somewhere nice, as a stud, not as a dinner.
The horses are still looking out over the fence -keeping vigil against any errant ‘mutant’ cows (which is how they see them!). It usually takes the guys about 24 hours to get over the ‘trauma’ of invaders!!!
And to think, the husband thinks he can just ride the old man thru a field of cows, and he will get over it!!! Not gonna happen – he’s 26 years old, has hated cows all his life, and that’s just not gonna change!!!
Anyway, just another day in the country, and I wish the little bull well, where ever he ends up………
All is well at Mountain Meadows tonite…………………..