Monday, October 09, 2006

The Cattle Business

I've been busy being a cattle woman. I found the missing cow. While she was rambling in the brambles finding the perfect place to calve, she got a thorn in her eye. When she reappeared she had a calf and a "stick" hanging out of a messy, runny eye. She wouldn't come anywhere close to the holding pen. No amount of feed, hay, nor bribes would encourage her to bring her calf to the corral.

I called everyone I know for help. One man suggested putting out feed. The next man suggested hay and if that didn't work dart her and do the work in the field. Another cowboy, the one I trusted the most, brought one of his cutting horses, found the cow, and didn't see the thorn. He thought it was out because he was looking at the eye from above. My dad, finally, arrived home and I called him. He sent someone with feed. The cows without calves came, again. The mamas didn't come close, again. We, then, did a most horrendous thing - we stole her baby and took it to the barn. She came and once she was in the barn, dad cornered her with another gate and she let him remove the 4" thorn without any other restraint (I have tame cows). She was relieved. I was relieved. The town, including my dad, was relieved because now I would leave everyone alone for a few minutes.

We now have eleven calves. Ten healthy and one with a hernia that will need medical attention. Dad was able to get that calf and his mama in the barn, too! Tomorrow, I will load and transport them to the vet for the surgery. Then, I will school the children, transport Princess to ballet, and fulfill my work obligations. I am exhausted, completely stressed, and the emergency to do list does not seem to be shrinking. I feel like I could spontaneously ignite.

My Mom came and sprayed some water on the embers today. Though her labor of love was not as spectacular as stealing a baby calf to lure a cow and removing a stick from the eye of the cow, I am lucky to have a mama who can recognize true need and help in a non-obtrusive, non-judgemental manner.


JoVE said...

That is something to be thankful for indeed. HOpe the emergency to do list starts going down soon and you get some sleep. I'm sure sleep would help.

Our tomato chutney looks good and I've found a recipe for green tomato salsa which I think might be popular. Will get ingredients and work on that tomorrow. I might be in good shape for Xmas gifts this year.

Mother Crone's Homeschool said...

Your farm adventures amaze me, even from a distance! You are doing an amazing job! It is so nice to have family who can come help like that, and so glad your mama got the thorn out! When the fires are put out and you have some time, you must read "These Is My Words" and "Sarah's Quilt" by Nancy E. Turner...adventures of a cattlewoman in Arizona Territory.

zilla said...

Your mom sounds like a real peach.

Does the mama cow go along to the vet so the baby with the hernia can be fed, or is mama in need of vetting, too?

Girl, you've got your hands full!

wisteria said...

Jove, You do sound if you will be ready for Christmas. I am even hoping I will make your Christmas list and I have my own assortment of tomato products. Sounds yummy!!

I'm going to the book store and library today when I take Princess to ballet. I'll see if I can get the books.

I hope to take both the cow and calf together, yet in separate sections of the trailer. The navel calf is so new that if we separate them the mama might reject him when he gets back. He will have all those vet smells on him. The procedure, supposedly, isn't that bad and I may have him home this afternoon.

This morning, the cow with the eye looks much better. I had a chance to get in her face when I was watering and haying. I don't think there will be any permanent damage.

Gotta run. Thanks for checking on me.

JoVE said...

I think the USDA might have something to say about shipping food products over the border :-)

wisteria said...

You're probably right! I think they are more concerned about fresh produce, but who knows what they will target next. I can still think about it, though.

griffin said...

Wow, that was one amazing adventure! Clearly you cows are well cared for and well loved if they will let you pull thorns from their eyes! Thank goodness everyone is safe and sound