Saturday, April 22, 2017

Cattle visit

This morning I woke up at 6:30 am to mooing.  I thought it was Big Red mooing or perhaps a cow giving birth.

When I went outside I found a brown bull calf in the backyard and a black bull calf in the plowed hayfield.  Another black animal was in the hayfield outside the corral and Buddy was interested.  I then realized the brown bull calf, while a Corriente breed of cattle, was not Mama and the black bull calf was not my animal.  I thought the black animal near Buddy was a cow but after a second look I realized it was a bull.  The bull had his horns cut off.  The other two animals still had their horns.  Another clue they were not my animals.

They came from a fenced field a half mile down the road.  The owner lives elsewhere and I didn't know who that was.  The phone number listed in the phone book for the brand inspector was not a working number.  I called the sheriff's dispatch and reported the cattle.  They could track down the brand inspector.

The brand inspector never called.  The sheriff's office called back 90 minutes later to ask if the brand inspector called me.  By then the cattle left and headed south down the road back towards their 'home'.

In the afternoon I learned from my southern neighbor that he woke up to find the three cattle in his yard outside his house.  He and his wife put the cattle into their pasture with their horses.  They were able to find out who the owner was and called him.  The owner came and got them in the afternoon.

So it all ended well.

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Socks and more

I didn't notice it until the calf was a day old, but Panda's calf's back legs have white at their bottom.  So I named the calf: Socks.

No more calves have been born. I expected that Sugar wouldn't give birth until May. It appears Beulah and cow #90 missed getting pregnant on their first cycle with Buddy.

Big Red, Buster, and I have settled into a routine.  I help Buster drink from Red twice a day: around 9 am and 9 pm.  Red still has an attitude problem.

Buddy is so big I have decided to sell him in August after he has bred all the cows.  He is so big, and getting bigger, that I imagine the cows will have a hard time standing when he mounts them.

A relative of Donna's called.  He has a bull he wants to sell.  The bull is a registered Red Angus two year old bull.  He is supposed to have a nice disposition.  I had to decline buying the bull.  The owner wanted $3500 for the bull and I can't pay that and expect to make money.  So the next time you complain about the price of a steak keep in mind what bulls sell for when their only purpose is to eat and have sex for about one month out of every year.

I still do not have my hayfield planted.  It has been too wet to plant.  The past seven days have been nicer than usual; while the temperatures continue to be colder than normal, we did have two sunny days this week.  Sunny days are unusual this Spring.

Here is the 10 day forecast.  Today we got more than the predicted .02 inches of rain as we got .25 inches so far.

So Saturday may be the day I get some outside work done.

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Buddy and temporary corral panels

I had a problem last night when I went out to the corral to have Buster drink.  Buddy was standing in the pathway between the south corral and the loading corral.  He pushed an end temporary corral panel to make an opening and got inside the pathway.  Then he pushed the panel shut.

I spent a long time carefully coaxing Buddy back into the main corral.  Once I got Buster and Big Red in the loading corral, Buster wasn't hungry.   I spent 50 minutes for nothing.

Early the next morning I again found Buddy in the pathway.  This time he hadn't 'closed' the corral panel.   But he wasn't interested in moving.  He just want to stand there and chew his cud.  After a bit I almost enticed him out but he changed his mind and backed in to the pathway.  He then rubbed his rear end against the south corral gate.  Fortunately this was the very heavy duty Powder River gate I installed last year.  I could see the gate straining but it held fast.

I gave up, took a shower and checked later.  By now Buddy was laying down in the pathway.

After noon Buddy came out to eat and I was able to close the panel.  This time I pounded a metal t-post in the ground to hold the panel in place.  Buddy is so strong he could bend that t-post if he really tried, but so far the post is holding the panel in place.

On the wrong side of the panels.

Buddy spent some time scratching against the metal slot that comes out where two panels can be pinned together.

Here is a 53 second video of Buddy scratching against the corral panel:

Monday, April 17, 2017

Holstein molasses

To get Big Red to bond with Buster one thing is to get her to lick him to get her scent on him.   To encourage her to do that, over a few days, Donna and I poured molasses on Buster.  It worked as Red licked Buster.

The molasses is sticky enough that Buster usually now looks a little dirty.  The photos are after Red licked Buster.

Even though Red is bonding a little with Buster, she still doesn't like him drinking from her.  I use a bowl of grain to entice Red into the loading ramp.  Once the grain is eaten Red bounces back and forth against the boards holding her in place so Buster can drink.  Buster drinks from Red's back teats so Red can't kick him away.   So, then, she often urinates or defecates in an attempt to discourage Buster.  Red has a bad attitude problem.

Red is very stubborn.  As I write this a commercial is playing on the TV.  The commercial's song is a woman singing "You don't own me. You can't tell me what to do."    That sums up Red's attitude right now.

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Buddy into the corral

It has been three weeks since the first calf has been born.  A cow can go into heat three weeks after giving birth.  Or after maybe longer.  I didn't want to take a chance so it was time to separate Buddy from the cows.

Buddy made it easy.  Last evening, after we checked on the cows and calves, Buddy came walking to the corral once Donna and I returned there.  He was alone.  So I opened the corral gate and let him inside.

Normally I would put Buddy in the corral south of the barn, but that is where Big Red and Buster are located.  They are doing fine but Red is still not letting Buster drink if she is not penned in the loading ramp.  So I let Buddy stay in the main part of the corral.  He can access hay and water and I just have to keep an eye on him whenever I am in the corral.  This I need to do whenever I tempt Red with a bowl of grain.  Buddy is curious and probably can smell the grain, and he is always on the other side of the fence when I feed Red grain.

Otherwise it is nice for Red to have adult company nearby.  Before Buddy came Red often would stand at the end of the corral and look out at the other cows in the pasture.

Buddy is a big boy.