Take for instance , last week we had to have a TB test, the last test we had 2 months ago there was 4 reactors and they were sent for slaughter, which put our farm onto a sixty day test program until we have two or is it three clear tests.
The calves are all by our Hereford bull but the cows they're out of, are of different breeds hence the variety of colours.
And no these are not the ones that caused so much trouble when testing and loading
How many of you can relate to the stance/ posture of this calf, it is the same one as in the picture above, not one to trifle with at close quarters unless in a properly designed crush.
During that test two month ago, the cattle being tested included a group of sixteen month old "calves" still suckling off their mothers, they have never been handled except for tagging and de-horning and a previous test when they were quite small. The cows had not been put in calf again (because of my imminent retirement from that block of land ) and the "calves" locally called stirks, or could also be called yearlings, however you want to describe them they were almost as big as their mothers , and delinquent, and off their heads when gathered into the corral. Talk about dangerous, my younger helpers would not let me into the cattle as escape was a matter of going over the top and quickly.
As I said four reacted and went for slaughter immediately, and after not too many minutes thinking the rest of that rough group were dispatched to market within the month. Loading the remainder did not go without incident, we had the lorry (wagon) driver trapped between a tractor and the corral wall, put there to give him an escape gap, problem was one beast decide to follow him and got wedged, it was not until I moved the tractor forwards that the animal and the driver was freed and the driver fell to the floor. To my mind I thought it was to be a paramedic job air ambulance the lot, but as it happened he jumped to his feet as if nothing had happened.
I, like my father always told me, "never set a man to do a job that you would'na do ya self", and that is now getting impossible to live up to.
Back to the test we had last week for instance, I was in with the cows (they are quiet to handle) in the corral "feeding" them down the race (chute as you call it over the pond) I turned around and tripped over a brick-end and fell face down in the grass/mud. Things flash across ya mind very quickly on the decent to the horizontal position, then it takes a while to actual realize whats happened, being owd and not too agile, it impossible for me to just jump up. Two of my young and helpful helpers came across though the cows and dragged me to me feet to resume the job of sending cows down the race. Embarrassing to say the least, but it reiterated what they kept telling me ta keep out of the cattle, leave it to them.
All the while it on me mind of fathers saying "never set a man to do a job that you would'na do ya self"
People forget how fast you did a job, but they remember how well you did it.