Dwayne and I went to bed last night and woke up this morning with very heavy hearts. Lots of tears. Dwayne even picked up the cigarettes. I can’t blame him.
Our Veterinarian was out to our place yesterday, for the purpose of annual vaccines and treatments, as well as doing status checks on our 2 pregnant Cows.
It was a very bad day. Dwayne learned the significance behind my hell raising about leaving a gap between the paddock gate and the chute.
Bruce and Cora escaped. Cora tried jumping right over me. I was lucky enough to get out of the way, escaping with my right side scraped and right arm bruised. Bruce ended up jumping into our little 3’ big yard for our chickens and not wanting to jump out. ( I can only shake my head every time I think back on the sight of that one. ) Dwayne had to pull up some of the fencing so I could walk him out.
We were able to get a halter and lead rope on Bruce. He walked back to the paddock and into the chute with me, once he had his halter and lead rope on. ( Yes. I had asked Dwayne to put Bruce’s halter on before the Vet arrived. I guess he needed to see why? )
But as for Cora… We will be having Bar-b-que ribs ‘ A La Cora ‘ – as soon as possible. This was incident #2. We don’t do 3 strikes with cattle.
Bruce lost my love that was deep enough to keep from being able to take him to butcher. Tolerating for handling is about as far as I feel in any positive direction toward him, after yesterday. He will be processed at 24 months.
Our Vet dealt with Patty in the chute. She turned her back out into the little yard, as soon as she finished, while we worked with 2 neighbors to get Cora inside Artist’s paddock.
Despite Dwayne showing Cora an open gate, she jumped over the fence into the paddock. Within 30 seconds after Cora jumped into Artist’s paddock, Patty broke through the fence dividing the little yard and Artist’s paddock, snapping the hot wire, stretching the field fencing and destroying a brace.
I can only say it was a good thing the guns were in the house. I was ready to call the game off.
By then, leading our 2 babies out from their stalls and into the chute was a breeze. Each received their dose of Eprinex, Alpha 7/MB-1, Triangle 10 and Multi-Min 90. Back to their stalls they went, just as easily as they went into the chute. I was so proud of April and Killian!
But our utmost heartbreak came at the moment our Vet went to examine and trim Killian’s front hooves. She upgraded her previous diagnosis of possible ‘ Elfin Feet ‘ to severe ‘ Screw Claw Foot.’ She asked us what our plans have been for this bull, before giving us her diagnosis. She informed us that she’s failed other bulls having the same genetic flaw when it was not even as severe. And then she advised us of our options.
We did not decide to get into any breeding of any kind that will pass on negative genetic flaws to live offspring. We contacted our ADCA Regional Director and asked for his opinion. His response is that we should process Killian for the freezer.
We will not force a bull to endure pain and future lameness for the purpose of selling meat for freezers. That includes our choice to not be responsible for selling him to someone else willing to take that risk and/or selling for the freezer. This would be nowhere positive and plausible for the Dexter Breed and ADCA, as far as we’re concerned.
I have not had enough time to even process my feelings fully. My head is swimming with a great deal of mixed emotions, on several levels, at this time. Therefore, I will not say anything further about the decision we’ve had to make about our bull, until I can absorb and sort things out in my heart and mind, with anywhere close to using a civil tongue.
We can only wait to see what we have of the 2 calves coming. Yesterday’s status check by our Vet showed that Patty is on target with her original due date. She is just putting out discharge very early, somewhat common.
We will be pulling the cows’ calves 3 days following their birth and bottle feeding. My reasoning for doing so is due to the fact that Cora will be going to processing ASAP. But I want to see if we can improve the thumbprint on behaviors with these 2 new babies as early as possible.
I’ve reached the point where the new calves will go in the freezer if there is the least bit of a problem in genetics and/or behavior. I WILL NOT breed FF Freedom’s Artist with cows behaving badly. End of THAT conversation.
We failed with being able to get Cora treated and checked. Anybody expecting me to care after the way I feel today, physically and mentally, where that cow is concerned… you fail, too.
We will be running a second line of hotwire around Artist’s paddock. We will be dividing the other paddock into 2 separate paddocks and running 2 lines of hotwire around both.
The Cows will go into the furthest of the divided paddock. Killian will go into the front portion of the divided paddock. Babies will go into the little yard for the first few months after pulling them from their mothers. Bruce and Artist will remain in Artist’s paddock.
Additional construction will be designed for placing the chute inside paddocks to treat cattle. I refuse to bend on that one. I will not go through another day like yesterday. I will not subject our Vet to the same.
Since we will be putting a cow, a bull and a steer through processing for the freezer… we no longer need to chew up our hay field until next year. We’ll cut and keep our own hay for this year. We’ll divide for rotational grazing next year.
After everything we’ve been through over this past year… we need a break.
Right now, I don’t even want to breed either cow with Artist. But… We will attempt to breed Patty with Artist 1 time. Patty will be sold to anyone looking for a brood cow, If my expectations are not met to the utmost. The offspring will go into the freezer. Half of my decision relies on how much we manage to gain a disposition as docile as Artist.
At this time, we have 2 pregnant cows in the same paddock with Artist and Bruce, behind hotwire. They all get their feed and hay. I use the chore to get a message across to every single one of them. The only one I even look at and speak to is Artist. No more breaking up their flakes of hay. I dump it on the ground. They can fight for it. Artist gets cookies ( alfalfa cubes ). The others can watch.
I cannot even describe the rage that rose in me this morning, when I walked to the back door and saw, out of all those cattle, Cora standing at the gate waiting for breakfast.
My vision is going into a tunnel. All I care to think about is getting those cows out of Artist’s paddock.
Our Bull deserves the very best of everything. And I give a LOT of credit to the farm we bought him from, for that reality.
Oh my. I am SO SORRY that you are going through this! Temperment is everything, regardless of the species! You know my motto, if you’re not nice….you’re tasty!
I am so sorry you are having to learn this by doing. I was very fortunate as a newby that the bloodline of Nubians that I had an eye for just happened to be one that is notoriously gentle.
I can not imagine how hard this is for both of you; but I am so proud that you are dedicated to doing what is right.
I think the cows are bored. Any behavior can be changed and it has nothing to do with breeding.
It’s hard knowing how much time and effort you already put in.
But cows age as do dogs and cats. Just because a cat or dog do naughty things doesn;t mean they can’t be changed as they age and mature.
When they are young they do things then as they mature and have babies of their own they have less energy to do what they are doing now. Milk makes them heavier.
I would talk to some farm people and ask them what you are doing wrong.
I have never seen so much separating going on on farms before.
You have to let them settle their own differences like people do.
Any way I am not one to talk but I wouldn’t hurry putting them into the freezer just yet lol