Friday, July 4, 2014

Cattle shenanigans






Self captive



Well today was animal sorting day.  We got another call and it looks like the sale is still on for all of our extra sheep. We decided to run the sheep back into the barn. We had gotten a few of our keeper ewes in with the sell herd.  We also lost a couple of lambs, a set of twins, from the sell herd.  Annmarie shot a coyote just behind the house this week and today I spotted a coyote up in the upper prime pasture.  The sheep were crazy like they always are in the summer and leaping around in the barn!  We had on little boy who jumped up four feet and into one of the feeders.  He got stuck and could not get out.  We had to lay the feeder on its side so he could run out.  Every time the sheep ran by me they would leap 4-5 feet in the air,  worse than frogs they are.  Eventually, we opted to just put a scrapie tag in the extra ewe and sell her also and just turned them loose again.  We will get the final count when we load them up for sale. 

Zeke and I went up and herded the cows back down to the square pen.  It wasn't too bad.  Then last years boys had to have a head butting match in the square pen.  We got everyone into the loading chute but could not grab the babies.  Annmarie went to go get a rope down at her mom's house while Sarah and I waited.  The baby cows managed to work their way to the back of the chute and I pushed them toward the gate with a stick.  We got all three babies out into the square pen while the mommas were stuck in the chute.  The calves are only a couple months old but weigh in the 70-80 pound range.  They are fast!  We had to wait for the rope.  I am not a cowboy and I do not know how to throw a rope.  So I held the loop open and attempted to sneak up and drop it over their heads.  It worked but wow was I not expecting the ensuing battle.  That is one upset calf and it can really throw its body around and bawl loud.  Annmarie tried to grab it while I was holding onto the rope desperately.  I managed to work my way up next to the calf and Annmarie.  She was trying to put it on its side but could not lift it.  I thought she wanted to pull its legs out from the opposite side, I could not do it.  Finally, she communicated that I needed to grab behind and in front of the legs grabbing the loose skin and lifting the animal up off the ground onto my knees and dropping it down on its side.  It really does work.  We ear tagged both girls and then when I tried to rope the little bull I only caught a back leg down by the hoof.  Catching it around the neck is easier to hold then a back foot, just saying.  We finally got it on its side and I attempted to hog tie its feet together.  It did not hold, obviously I need more practice.  The little bull has a white spot on its left eye.  We took a picture and called someone who said it was pink eye or a sticker in its eye irritating things.  So we will need to give it a shot and irrigate the eye.  We are so going to wait for our nephew to help us on Sunday.  I just had to do this last week on a three year old human at work and it wasn't easy.  I don't imagine a 2 month old calf is going to be easier.  We did tag every calf, two little girls and one boy. 

Hard day wrestling calves

Annmarie and I both ended up covered in cow poop.  One of the calves smeared poop on the sides of his siblings right before we started to wrestle with them.  I think she knew what was coming and just wanted to get her revenge in early.  It was one of the little girls. 

So we have enough money saved know for the sheep sorting chute and in the next few years will get a sorting chute arranged for the cattle. 

Sticker or pink eye?