Shades of Ireland

Monday, January 10, 2011

I should be a skinny woman........

But, I most definitly am not. I am not a hundred pounds over weight but I am certainly seventy-five. I am not even real sure how it happened but now that the weight is here, it plans to stay.  I am a very active woman. In the past few weeks, I have even begun to jog a a few mornings a week. Not very far or very fast and it is not a pretty sight, but it IS jogging.
I usually go over to the barn and jog to the gate. It is only about a 1/4 of a mile but it is a start. The dogs are delighted to run with me except for Prissy, the Rat Terrier. She is certain something is terribly wrong and tries her best to stop this foolishness by growling, barking, and hanging on to my leg...... I am glad that no one is around to take a picture.
I didn't tell my family that I had started this early morning program. About the second time out, I had just gotten started when suddenly my phone rang. Seth, my 17 yo son, asked me with great concern in his voice," What's wrong?? Why are you running??!!" When I tried nonchalantly to tell him that I was just exersizing, he incredulously wanted to know if I was ok......

I am a great walker. Most cattle barons in this part of the world drive their pick up trucks out to check on their cattle. I have always walked out and inspected the girls. Now that we live on a 155 acres it is sometimes a bit of a hike but I do every day. More often if I am expecting a calf. We have "farmer cows" meaning that they are very used to people and usually come when called or at least will come if offered feed.
This past Novemeber, we bought six bred cows at the stockyard to increase our cow numbers and try to make some money to help pay for this place. Two of them were farmer cows and blended right in. The other four were definitely "range cattle", meaning that they came fro a huge ranch and were not used to seeing people on regular basis and when they did --- it was bad news!

All my girls have names. I named this bunch of renegades,too, just because I am foolish enought to think that they ought not be left out. Dumpling and Notch obviously came from the same ranch. They have the same mysterious looking unreadable brand on their left side and their ears are identically notched. These two have settled down and pretty much blend into the herd and don't have a problem with me moving thru on my daily check.
The other two are a different story. Buttermilk and Brindle are both about 9 yo according to the vet at the salebarn and obviously have spent their entire lives together. Buttermilk is a cream colored cow that calved first with a red heifer with a white face. I knew there was going to be trouble with this pair. Mama cows are naturally protective but in this case she has back up. Brindle, a red tiger-striped cow, was more protective of this heifer than Buttermilk. As soon as she spotted me in the pasture, she would begin to try to hustle Buttermilk and the calf away. That worked for a day or two but soon the baby had other ideas. She decided to come check me out. Buttermilk was a bit alarmed but Brindle was outraged. Luckily, I had decided earlier this year to start carrying a cattle stick since the bull was a bit too forward sometimes. I managed to keep the calf pushed arm and stick length away from me and between me and Brindle. I simply HAD to bluff her down because I knew that I couldn't outrun her. The next  morning, I began my jogging routine.
A few days later Brindle had a fine strapping bull calf. I still walk out to check the herd but I keep a wide berth between us. I know that I am still too close when she puts her head down and begins to paw the ground....... that is at about 75 yards. She is getting better and I am still undecided about keeping her. She IS an excellent mother.......and I am getting faster.

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