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How You End up with a Bull

Oops, I did it again.  More cows…..

Warning:  this post includes a hunky bull, complaining and balls.  Stop reading if any of these topics offend you.  

It is official.  We have a cow problem.  There is now a bull at our place.

mr. bull

Technically we leased him –

but that doesn’t make him any less HUGE.

Just wait – you too may find yourself typing on your keyboard one morning about why on earth you have a 2000 pound bull in your front yard.  5 years ago I would have told you it was too dangerous, too expensive and too risky (what if he gets out!!!).

Today is different.  Today I (apparently) am old and have lost my mind because there is a bull in my front yard.

There are now 6 cows at our place.

How do we keep ending up with cows?

Let’s do a quick roll call.

#1 & 2  Rosie & Gwen

There’s this sweet mama:

1 -rosie1

Rosie came to live at our place with her baby girl calf.

Her owner called me and said, “I have a Jersey cow and I think she’d be real happy at your place.”

Not kidding.  That’s exactly what he said.  If you want to read the entire story go here.

She’s home now and she’s “real happy.”  🙂

#3 Norman

Then there’s this guy:

norman 7

We got him to help us milk Faith.  Faith died this spring and Rosie adopted Norman.

Norman is a bundle of adorableness and will be, by far, the hardest steer I will have ever had to send to the processor.  Thankfully that won’t be for a long time.  I am hoping he turns into an obnoxious, ornery, grown-up bovine before that day so I won’t cry too hard.

#4 Bessie

2 Weeks ago DH got a phone call.

cows 2

It was Mr. Friend.  Mr. Friend is a wheeler-dealer and in the know about all things country, especially in our area.  If there’s a deal going down he usually knows about it.  Mr. Friend is a good person to know if you like deals.

He stumbled upon a black heifer (girl cow) and wanted to know if we were interested.

If you have been living under a rock, or haven’t bought a cow in the past 12 months, or aren’t in the cattle world you may not yet know that black cows are made of gold.

It has been an amazing year to be in the cattle business.  The price for cows has sky-rocketed and it has been a blessing for hard working farmers everywhere.

In a world where you used to be able to purchase a dairy bull-calf for a plate of brownies it is great to see what they are selling for now.

Bull calves are bringing more than ever and female calves are the gems of the farm.  With the potential to produce a calf every year the price of female cows is reflecting how much they are treasured.

So, when you run up on an opportunity to purchase a cow (especially a black heifer) below market value – you buy her.  cows

That is how we ended up with the preschool.

  1. Gwen – Rosies’s calf
  2. Norman – is helping us with the milking
  3. Bessie – because she was on sale.  By the way, don’t let your 8 year old name the cow unless you want her name to be “Bessie” or “Blacky.”

preschool 1

The cattle preschool is adorable.  They are all between 5-6 months old and are having a wonderful time together.  The 2 black heifers will be ready to breed in the spring so they can make more baby cows for us.  Also in the spring, Norman will be steaks.  🙁

#5 Trinka

A customer came into the pawnshop on Tuesday and told DH that his friend was taking a Jersey heifer to the sale barn that night to sell.

THE SALE BARN!!

I am not against sale barns.  They are a great place to find farm critters on sale.  They are a great place to eat junk food.  They are a great place to inhale a pack of second-hand smoke.  To see a sale barn go here.

They are also a great place to get worms, mites, lice, parasites and any other livestock associated disease.  No offense if you own a sale barn.  It’s nothing personal, I just don’t want my Jersey to go there.

Please Mister, don’t take your sweet Jersey cow to the sale barn!  Please?

trinka 2

We went to visit her.  She was without a doubt the most beautiful Jersey cow I have ever seen.  Ever.

I could not let her go to the sale barn.  She had to be saved.

trinka 5

So, guess where she is?

The prettiest cow in the world is now at my house.

Oh, by the way, she brought her boyfriend…….

Mr. bull

#6:  Mr. Bull

“Mr. Bull,” also know as “Big and Beefy,” also know as “Mr. Balls,” is here to do a job.  An important job.  A job he is good at and happy to perform.

Mr. Balls Mr. Bull has been “leased” in order to prevent me from grumbling, griping, moaning and protesting about Artificial Insemination for the next 6 months.  We are hopeful that he will have completed his work by December and at that time he will go home.

In the mean-time, we have a big, manly, hunk-of-a-cow keeping all the ladies company.

Would anyone like for me to get on my soap box and complain about how much I hate dealing with Artificial Insemination?

  1. There’s the timing:  you have exactly a 12 hour window to determine that your cow is in “standing heat” and get the A-I tech out to your place to do the deed before she drops her egg and you lost your opportunity for another 21 days.
  2. There’s the guess work:  Is she mooing?  Is her vulva swollen and flushed?  Is she coming into heat or going out?  Are the cows riding her?  Is she riding them?  Will she “stand” for a bull or run off?
  3. There’s the scheduling:  I have a life outside of the homestead and can’t “watch” cows all day to try to figure out who’s swollen, who’s mooing, and who’s riding who.
  4. Not to mention if the above behaviors are occurring I have to determine if it’s false heat, coming in heat, going out heat, or standing heat.
  5. Last, there’s the fact that dairy cows are notoriously difficult to get bred.  Even if you time everything perfect and hit the window just right, they are known for “skipping” a cycle, false heats and not ovulating.  There are all sorts of factors which effect these things like weather (especially hot weather), milk production (especially high milk production) and diet.
  6. Ugh.  Ugh.  and Ugh!

And if the cow happened to be coming in, or going out and not in standing heat you just lost all that money you spent on A-I and get to do it all again in 21 days.  Wee!

All this guess work disappears when you have Mr. Balls Mr. Bull.

Not only is Mr. Bull way, way, way, way, way (say that for 20 minutes) easier than Artificial Insemination, he’s definitely a more natural, organic, old-fashioned approach.  Let’s face it, this is the way God intended these things to happen.  It’s simpler.  It’s arguably cheaper.  And, I’m gonna go out on a limb here and say that I think the cows probably enjoy it more than the A-I tech.  I’m just sayin’.

Rosie and Trinka should be knocked-up in no time.

So we have 6 cows right now:

  1. Rosie
  2. Gwen
  3. Norman
  4. Bessie
  5. Trinka
  6. Mr. Bull

Cows, Cows and more Cows.

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Sending cow love,

Candi

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