Monday, August 26, 2013

Meet Buster

If you have been following this blog you may remember that we had our neighbors bull Caesar with us last year for about 9 months and now we have reaped the fruits of that stay with the birth of Buster, our new bull calf.

The night before he was born we knew Thelma was going into labor because she separated herself from the other cows, went into the woods and started pacing. I checked her at about midnight but no calf so I went to bed and first thing the next morning we went out to find her. We found Thelma laying down and looking great chewing her cud and we noticed afterbirth was hanging out of her so we knew she calved...but there was no calf. Cattle usually will stash their calves and they can be a booger to find in heavy brush and Buster was no different, we finally found him laying quietly in some think brambles.
We were hoping for a heifer to build our herd and if Buster had been a bald face calf like the rest of our cattle we would probably keep him but as it is we will raise him for about 15 months then send him to slaughter for us to eat. We will not castrate him as uncut bull calves gain weight faster, its safer and more humane not to castrate them (our opinion), and to those who claim bull meat tastes gamy ...all I can say is we haven't seen that at all. It depends on the age and how the animal is treated at butchering time.
Angus cattle are known for good maternal instincts but this is Thelma's first calf so we weren't sure how she would do; luckily she is doing great.

We cant get too close yet because she is still very protective of him but she is getting better.
We enjoy having cattle but these are beef cattle and not pets so we don't pet them and we handle them to the minimum amount possible. We also don't yell at them or hit them, I have found that usually (and there are exceptions) you can make them do what you want by moving into their flight path or using the cattle stick to push their head or poke them in the flank a bit. I hate going to places where I see people screaming at their cattle and whacking them with a stick or prod. Louise, the red Angus to the right is also pregnant and we expect she will probably calf in a month or so.

Thelma is a very large cow with a large udder so we weren't sure how Buster was going to be able to feed but he seems to have figured out that hitting mom from the rear through her rear legs works best. Its very satisfying to see the results of planned breeding pan out like this and we are really enjoying this.
On top of Buster being born one of the wild barn cats dropped a litter all over the farm (literally). We found a couple in the wood pile, some on the side of a hill, some next to the barn, and two were found a day or so after the others in the grass. We don't need them, we don't want them, we are trying to catch the barn cats to get them fixed but what can you do? None of us had the heart to just let them die or get taken by the coyotes so...Judy gets to be mom again!

We have said goodbye to the golf cart project we started back in 2010, too many projects and we realised we would never get to this one so we traded it for some sheep. We will be picking up the sheep soon but in the mean time this got delivered to its new owners.
My friend Bandit is doing well lately but when I am working in the back pasture or wood lot he prefers to ride in the AC now days instead of running alongside like he used to...we are all getting older. For some reason he has never bothered the cattle and Thelma lets him go right up to Buster and we have seen them sniff each other over...that is very unusual.
So here we are in the last month of summer and the leaves on some of the trees are turning, the autumn crocuses have already come and gone and we sliced three persimmon seeds in half and got spoons so it will be a snowy winter. But I like this time of year.

Its still hot and we are just now preparing for the fall garden but you know fall is coming soon and all that comes with that. Cutting wood, Dove season starts next month, the holidays....cooler weather....I look forward to it. As I have gotten older the seasons seem to just fly by.

And finally here is Judy standing in front of the banana trees that you "cant" grow here; glad we didn't know that before we planted them 3 years ago!


No comments:

Post a Comment