Sunday, 10 February 2013

We had a cow and she's real mad

We had a cow and she's real mad

But only when we are trying to round them up, all the rest of the time out grazing with the other cows she is quite normal. If there is more than one person in the field she becomes aware she starts to get alerted, and if by chance we start to drive the herd towards the gate, her head goes up and ears pricked forward, and as the whole herd approach the exit of the field with her in the middle of the bunch, suddenly she charges out of the group in the opposite direction dodging any attempts' for us to stop her.

It's a habit she had got into and we could not even begin to try to calm her down, or break her of this syndrome. The last time we actually got her into the coral with the other cows was when we rounded them up to worm the calves. On that occasion we let the herd into a small field at the end of the lane, and left them in for twenty four hours. By that time they were all hungry and ready to be moved.
To put you in the picture, the coral is at the farm end of the lane, a number of fields with gates open into the lane, and at the far end, the end gate opens into the corner of a small field making it handy to walk the cattle down to the coral.
On this occasion with them being hungry for more grass, we opened the gate and the herd moved naturally toward that corner, including the wild one. As I said she takes no notice as long as we stay on the tractor, she thinks we are just counting them as I do every morning. They all gradually walked into the lane grazing and pulling at the grass down the hedge banks, she was the only one standing confused in the gateway, first looking down the lane then back across the field to us in the tractor.
It's like being in a hide, and well back across the field we waited, then finally she made her mind up to run and catch up with the others. When we followed she had caught up and mingled and was successfully got into the coral.
The time is fast approaching when the claves need to be weaned and the whole lot gathered again, but what worries me most is when we have to have them all in for testing, and have got to get them all in on that particular day and again three days later to read the results. Another problem as well is she has lost both her ear tags, I know the number, but just the thought on clamping her in the head yolk in the crush, and inserting two ear tags, if they hold still you can often get them into the same hole in the ear, but most likely we will have to punch them in as well as we can, more pain and suffering. Where DO we get her confidence back from?.

We do have a good leader of the herd,

The Cows Have Got a Leader
The cows have got a leader, and she watches all the while,
She knows exactly what ya doing, sometimes make you smile,
Only got to touch the gate latch, and up will go her head,
And walk towards the gateway, without a word being said.

Go to count them every morning, and check that they're all okay,
They think they want a new field, and walk off all that way,
Oblige them at your peril, as they mob you round the gate,
The fencings got to be strong, if you've got to make them wait.

If more than one walks in the field, leader walks the other way,
Takes the whole lot with her, she must know its testing day,
Got to walk round whole dam field, head them to the gate,
Seems that they have forgotten, and vet's is here by eight.

Leader walking off right way, the others following her lead,
Off towards the gateway, but they're gathering speed,
All stop short of going through, and start to circle round,
A young one makes a break for freedom, loose the lot confound.

A bucket with a bit of corn, the leaders up for that,
Always first one at the trough, and give her a little pat,
She follows where you walking, out off out down the lane,
Other think they're missing out, and follow once again.

So cherish your old leader, she can save you a lot of time,
Show the young cows where to go, while she's in her prime,
Miss her when she finally goes, to meet her maker's bullet,
End up as tough old leather boot's, n' fill a of pack of suet.
Owd Fred (Countryman)

The task of a leader is to get his people (in this case cows) from where they are to where they have not been.Henry Kissinger ( 1923- )

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