Wednesday, January 26, 2011

A Day With A Momma Cow

On Saturday I posted a photo of the newborn calf and its mother.  I was concerned 7 or 8 days prior to seeing the calf that something was not right with this particular cow and the expectant calf.  I was so excited to see a calf and the mother Saturday morning that I did not realize that something was not "right."  It wasn't until Monday afternoon that I realized that the cow had not expelled the afterbirth.   In all the fifteen years we've had cattle and many, many calves, we've never had this happen.

We'd had the Sunday "midnight excitement" with an unknown canine critter and I was only interested Monday morning in seeing that the calf had not been attacked.  I kept checking on the calf Monday to make sure she was unharmed, and it was late afternoon when I saw the umbilical cord.  I called the vet and he was to come out Tuesday at 9:30 AM to remedy the matter. 

I was up by 7:20 in the morning and out to try to pen the cow and the calf.  No such luck.  Hubby was ready to try around 8:30 AM.  Again, no such luck.  Hubby called a neighbor.  No such luck with the three of us.  I called the vet and told him not to come until we had the cow in the pen at which time I would call.  He was so gracious and understanding. 

If we had had a horse, the momma cow and calf would have certainly been penned on the second attempt.  As it were, we got her penned on the fifth attempt somewhere around 6 PM.  BTW, this cow hates me.  She doesn't hate hubby.  She charged me at least 4 times while we were trying to get her in the pen and charged  me this morning with her inside the pen and me on the outside.  In fact, as soon as she saw the vet and his assistant she charged them too.  The vet was really surprised at her intensity.  He brought a tranquilizer gun along just in case he needed it.  He did.  No one wanted to get in the pen until she was safely down and out. lol  Since the cow really, really hates me, I removed myself from the area while the vet was doing his work. 

I've never had an animal dislike me like this one does.  We had a 2400 pound bull that I could work.  A couple of times a yard gate was left opened.  He'd find it and come into the yard. I could talk him out of the yard with no problem.  This cow sees me and she wants to trample me.  From this point on I plan to keep an eye on where she is in relation to me.  And, she just might be sent to market the next time we send yearlings.

I had the infrared, motion activated, wildlife camera ready to go because of the excitement Sunday night. Unknowingly, it recorded quite a few photos of our chasing one stubborn, hateful cow and her calf. It's really pretty funny when you see the pictures.  There are no photos when we were coming and going from the left side of the pen area. Here are some scenes from yesterday.

Our third attempt.  

                                                            Hubby trying to cut her off.

The other two calves decided to follow the white cow and her calf.

A disgusted hubby -- failed.

Don't remember why we needed the truck but it was brought over.

Escaped again.

Neighbor going after a lariat to rope the calf if at all possible.

A disgusted hubby, failed again.

I hopped on the lawn tractor to see if I could find the cow and possibly herd her back up to where hubby and our neighbor were waiting.  I didn't find her.   Oh, I also got stuck on some rocks but rocked the mower off and am returning with the news that she could not be found.  She disappeared for 3 or 4 hours.

In the pen at last and driving over to get some hay to put in
the pen for the cow and her calf.

So how did we finally get her penned?  We put some protein cubes at the back of the pen.    All the cows came in including the momma cow and her calf.  All previous attempts with the cubes failed.  She would not come into the pen.  But, this time we hid.  As soon as she saw me coming into view, she bolted out of the pen..............but her calf did not!  We were able to close the gate.  Hubby and I ran the other cows and calves out of the pen, one at a time, meanwhile keeping her calf from getting out.  She was furious but would not come in.  Finally, I got a lariat around the calf's neck and got her into a smaller type pen.  By this time the momma cow was really ready to trample me.  She finally came into the penning area. I ran to the closest 6' high pen section and climbed over while hubby shut the gate.  lol  Mission accomplished. 

I called the vet to let him know she was penned.  He came out at 10 AM this morning, performed his magic, gave her a tetanus and a big shot of antibiotics.  All in all, it was kind of a fun day.  The weather was nice, the air cool, and we were outside a good part of the day.  As of this moment, Momma cow and calf are doing well. :D

Until next time, God bless.


The Japanese Redneck said...

Sometimes stubborn animals just make me want to kick them in the rear end.

Glad you got your mission accomplished.

DJan said...

Those pictures show the excitement of the day, but your well told story were the best! I wonder why she hates YOU so much, since you feed her. Glad everything turned out all right and that the weather was fine while you were out "playing" with your critters. :-)

Lynn said...

DJan, I have no idea why this cow hates me, but she has always been skittish around me. I will say that when we spray for flies, hubby will distract with cubes while I try to slip in and around to spray. She is most successful in avoiding the spray.

When I took the picture Saturday of her and the calf, she made an small attempt to charge me once or twice. But, with all the goings on Tuesday, me putting a rope on the calf, her being penned, all that apparently was too much for her.

I checked on her several times Tuesday night to make sure nothing was trying to get into the 44'x40area. I could tell she did not like seeing me on the other side of the fence. She's a good momma; maybe, too good. lol

Donna said...

Dang Lynn! Now that's a Bunch of Work!!
Glad y'all got them!!