Archive for February 12th, 2012
Today was the big day, our first beef animal was to be loaded and ready for a quick trip to the processor tomorrow morning. It turned out to be quite the adventure and we made just a few mistakes.
Rich brought the fold (that’s what a herd of Highlanders is called) back from the east pastures, across the creek, to the tree pasture where we have a loading area. That was probably mistake #1.. bringing the WHOLE fold back. There are 17 animals in the group, which included Sampson, a dairy steer, a bull and the cows and calves. The fold moves pretty much as a group so I’m not sure we could have just brought Sampson back. The animals aren’t exactly tame but they do know that when Rich shows up, they should follow because usually that means fresh pasture or hay is going to be offered.
So, thinking we were prepared, Rich brought over a small square bale of hay and placed a bit of it next to the fence line. This of course brought all the older animals over. The calves are shy and wanted to play instead of eat. Rich, after a few tries, managed to laso Sampson’s horns. That is about the only way you can rope a Highlander. Sampson was not happy and let everyone know.
After Rich got Sampson secure to the telephone pole (fence post) our bull, El Dorado, decided that Sampson needed to be put in place and went after him. Poor Sampson, I thought, that lasted one second as the 2 crashed down the gate with Rich standing on the other side holding the rope on Sampson. Yeah, the gate went down like paper and next thing I know, Sampson has Rich pinned against the fence, with his head and horns thrashing. El Dorado just stood there next to the downed gate. Madison and I were grabbing hay and throwing it out into the paddock, trying to get El Dorado away, so Sampson could relax. Soon Sampson backed off of Rich. Rich was just fine. We decided to leave Sampson settled down and headed back to the farm site to get the truck and trailer.
We returned a shor time later to find El Dorado pinning Sampson against the fence line again. This time, Sampson was really on the losing end of things. He was bleeding from the scrapes of El Dorado’s horns. Rich manged to get a gate between them and El Dorado just kind of gave up after that. Sampson wasn’t too hard to get into the trailer. He actually went in quite easily. Once loaded securely, I apologized to Sampson. I felt so bad for him. Rich and Madison burst out laughing saying, “like tomorrow is going to be a better day for him…” Must be the city slicker in me, Rich and Madison are farm kids, hehe.
Tomorrow he makes his final trip to the local processor.