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Monday, April 13, 2015

I can explain.

Not surprisingly, I have a lot of explaining to do.  Firstly, I have been MIA on my blog.  I believe this is an annual occurrence - I spend all that time whining about winter and it will never end (blah, blah, blah), then it does pretty much end and I'm all, "OMG, I have too much to do!  I don't know where to start!  Where's my blankie???"  and no writing gets done.  I am officially kicking myself in the keester and getting back into somewhat regular posting - like it or not.

Then there is the Dexter excuse.  (Like how I threw that in, all nonchalant-like?)  Some days it is downright dangerous to do simple things.  Like go visit my cows and get milk.  I haven't been for a while, as the bronchial thing had me down and out and not wanting to spread it around.  But, a week ago, I tottered down to the barn to give my Jasmine a good head scritching (she loves it) and go kiss her daughter, Alice, on her big wet nose (she is not sure whether she likes it - but she doesn't hate it).  My farmer was acting rather odd - sort of jumpy.  He waits until his farmhand (using the term loosely) goes off out of earshot and then hisses in my ear, "I NEED TO TALK TO YOU!"  Good lawd.  Whatever?  So, I trot after him as he moves the milking units from cow to cow, until he finally decides we are safe and he can speak.

"Alice had a bull calf."  I am disappointed, because we always hope for a heifer, but, since she was field bred to an Angus bull, there wasn't much excitement in the heifer department this year anyway.  "Well," I say, "isn't that nice."  I should have wheeled around and gone blissfully on my way, but he continued.  "It's going to be a week before I can go to the auction and C insists he wants to raise that calf for beef!"  C is his erstwhile farmhand, who is also a relative.  Therein lies the rub, as it is saideth.  "I'm NOT going to let him have it because he's a butthead and doesn't know his ass from his elbow."  No argument here.  "So, YOU have to take him home."  WHA?

That is how it came to be that Dexter moved into my barn.  The sheep look upon him with terror - he's an alien that has landed in their midst.  Of course, he's too young to mix with the lard butts, and is still on a bottle, so he is safely ensconced in a small pen in the barn.  Yes, that's right.  A bottle baby.  A BIG bottle baby.  A BIG, BOUNCY bottle baby.  So far, he has been melded into the chore schedule without too much trouble.   Other than those damn big calf bottle nipples - geezloueeze, they're a bugger to get on.  My laundry load has doubled, as I am covered with slobber and milk replacer by the end of the day.  He gets banded next weekend and I am hoping that will slow him down a bit.  And I am working really, really hard not to get attached.

As I sat last night, poking around in my fevered brain, trying to find the Pollyannaism in of all this, I realized that I had built a sort of chute in the barn that I could use for the sheep in the future.  It's a rather pathetic Pollyannaism, but it will do.

24 comments:

  1. Oh gosh...a bottle bull calf....soon to be steer. You could get attached and have him as an ox! I can see the book title now. Not Babe the Blue Ox and Paul Bunyan but........SUPER STEER and Susan the super farmer!

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  2. Fiona - Hey! I knew there was an alternative to hamburger! However, I think the book would be Dexter the Super Street and the Accidental Farmer..... :)

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  3. Good luck with not bonding-you have named him after all. On the family farm I loved feeding the calves and teaching them how to drink out of a bucket. Of course I didn't have the weight of running the farm on my shoulders so it was all fun in those days.

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    1. Susan - Boy, could I use your expertise! I would love to get him on a bucket. Heck, I would love to get him on water and hay! It will be a while, but we are going to be moving (*quickly*) to the bucket.

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    1. DFW - The jury's still out.... :)

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  5. Yikes!! It would be fun to raise him as a steer though. You could get another and train them to the yoke and rent them out to plow or have them pull a wagon in local parades! Seriously, one of our local doctors has a pair of Holstein steer oxen and he does those things. ;)

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    1. Candy! How are you, girl!?! I don't think I'm up to two of them. Plus there's the downside of having two smallish breeds mixed in there. I am afraid that I'm leaning more towards beef.

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    2. I'm good, back to blogging (I think). Beef is good, VERY good!! :)

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  6. oh god...i couldn't do it! better you then i. he'd be sleeping in my bedroom.

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    1. Jaz - If that would be the case, you'd have to find a mighty big pair of Depends....

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  7. I. don't. know. what. to. say. (Good thing not many circuses pass on your road because if they had an elephant they needed a new home for . . . )

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    1. Mama Pea - I'd like to think I would turn down an elephant.

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  8. Do you get to keep the beef? :)

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    1. Nancy - If I raise it, I keep it!

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  9. Susan,

    Fat fingers with typing, sorry.......

    Susan,

    Be careful girl, he's going to be massive when he grows....and may have a stubborn streak. Weaning him from the bottle will be fun :-)

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    1. Sandy - Luckily, he's a combination of two smaller breeds - Jersey (his mother is small even for a Jersey) and Angus - his dad was small, too. I am chalking this up as a new learning experience!

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  10. Well, its spring after all and there is alot to do...so no worries on the MIA front...but what about the bull?!?!? Oh boy....perhaps you could breed him out? I don't know much about cattle but there might be some $$ in it?

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    1. Mrs DM - No way is he staying a 'bull'! Small breed or not, that's asking for trouble!

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  11. Wait. What?
    I think I may have to re-fresh this page and make sure I'm reading Susan's blog.

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  12. Fingers in the bucket method - let him suck on your fingers, then lower your hand into the replacer til the back of your hand is on the bottom - then slidie out your fingers - they catch on really fast that way...and glad that you are getting him banded, though thats too slow in my book. You can get hurt waiting for nature to make things fall off.. best way to move them while little when they dont want to move is grab the tail method; that tail makes an excellent rudder when they are little! .Please be careful! xoxo

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    1. Janet - I knew I could count on you for the answer! Right now he will go anywhere I want him to, as long as he's sucking madly on my fingers. If this is going to work, I'll have to get him halter broke soon.

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  13. Oh, this is going to be a good story! I've missed all your adventures :)

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