Thursday, October 17, 2013

Rolling around in the mud and the blood and the calf poop

Since we got 1 1/2 inches of rain on Monday, harvest  was brought to a halt and it was time to catch up on other chores. One of them was removing the Quiet Wean nose tags from the calves and give their mama's a rest.

It was much like putting the tags in, drive the herd to the house and separate off the calves. This time the cows went back to the pasture alone and the calves went into the barn. One by one I drove them to the chute but, since it was only a week since we worked them, they were wise to the headgate.

Some could be convinced to try and get through the space with the chute slamming shut, holding the calf in place. That made it easy to take their nose tag out.

Others were not convinced and they tried everything to avoid the headgate. Bruce had the job of convincing them to take the plunge but they did everything they could to avoid it. Bruce is strong but he is no match for a 600# calf.

The nose tags are plastic with the big knobs that fit in each nostril and most of the calves do not have any effects from wearing them. There are always a few that rub the tags, trying to remove them and their noses will get scuffed up and bleed a little.

The cement floor was a mixture of mud, calf poop and drops of blood, making a slippery surface.

One minute Bruce was on his feet wrestling with a calf, the next he was flat on his back on the cement floor, rolling around in the mud, the blood and the calf poop and trying to avoid being run over.

I tried not to laugh and failed miserably and wished I had a video camera running. Since it was just a calf and he was well padded with insulated coveralls, I knew there was little chance he would get hurt.

He did manage to get to his feet, and with renewed vigor, grabbed the calf around the neck and popped the nose tag out, none too gently. "Take THAT you little bast@#%!"

There was no gentle rubbing this little calf to show all was well, this was war.


  1. Julie, you didn't have to have a video camera for me to see what you saw through your words. I'm so happy you started a blog..............

  2. Bruce is well aware (I think he started it actually) how easy it is to laugh first, then ask "oh are you ok"..... hahaha! Glad he showed the calf who was the ALPHA!