I Remember Petey

These memories of mine come from about 6 or so years ago. I don’t think my husband and I were married yet and we definitely didn’t have any kiddos. Calving has brought me this memory and one new calf in particular.

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He’s a twin that we put on a heifer that lost her own calf. The heifer didn’t have much milk at first so I went out to the barn and bottle fed this guy. Boy, he’s rambunctious!!

Anyways, about 6 years we had a brand new calf that had his leg stepped on by a cow. We threw a towel down on the backseat of the Dodge and raced an hour to the vet. Guess who is the lucky girl that got to sit back there with that sweet baby? Yep, it was me! And on the way I named him Petey.

The veterinarian checked him all out and got a cast put on his leg and then we drove him home. We babied him and watched out to make sure he was healing well. Needless to say, he ended up chasing around the pasture with the other calves by late spring.

Hanging around this new bottle fed calf has me missing Petey. I’m just lucky I get to have these great memories.

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*Both pictures are of my new bottle feeding calf, not Petey.*

A Farm Story from 2007

Before I even knew what a blog was, I would write these Farm Stories and email them to a few members of my family. Recently my older sister Annette was clearing out an old email inbox and sent this back to me.

Date: Tue, 11 Sep 2007

Here’s a story I’ve written…just a rough draft. Hope you like it!

This story takes place sometime in February or March of 2005, my first
month of living on the farm. Brad conned me into going out to the barn to
watch him and his younger brother Edward pull a calf. I changed into old
sweats and bundled up against the cold. I tagged along with much
apprehension and stood quite a ways behind the cow and the boys. Brad put a chain around the calf’s hooves while Edward held the tail up. I was quite
disgusted by the whole sight so I turned around to face the barn wall. Next
thing I know, a hot gooey liquid sprays the back of me from head to toe! I
turn around in tears and Brad and Edward are laughing at me! I was too
shocked to ask what it was although I could have guessed by their laughter.
Brad, between laughs, informs me that has never happened before in his
whole…and not since! Good thing I had my hood up!

A Cattle Procedure From Way Back

I won’t show gross photos! We dehorn our calves every Fall. It is kind of gross in person. There is blood. But I won’t show that. I don’t want to scare my few followers away. It’s actually fun though. I love chasing the herd into the corrals and rounding them up to get them through chute. This year it was just me, my husband, my mother in law and a good friend of ours. We ran all 200 cows plus that many calves and our three bulls through the chute. The cows and bulls got vaccinated against some diseases and the calves got dehorned. Out of 200 calves I’d say only about 30 had horns that needed to be cut off. Back in the day, before I arrived here, they used a wire with two wooden handles and sort of sawed the horns off. Now we have a dehorner the cuts them off. It’s a lot easier and less time consuming.

We have to trim the hair around the horns for an easier grab with the dehorners first. then the horns get cut off and we slap some flour on the holes to help stop the bleeding. Since we’ll be selling the calves in a couple weeks, if they just had tiny nubs for horns we left them be. It’s a pretty straight forward process and doesn’t take long if everyone, cattle included, cooperate and do their jobs.

My husband runs the main chute (head gate) because he is the strongest and most knowledgeable. Also if a cow or calf gets through without being properly processed it’s all his fault and the rest of us don’t get crap. Last winter my husband bought a couple purebred heifers who birthed purebred bull calves. So we kept their nuts on them and hope to sell them in the Spring as purebreds. We put them in with the bulls and they look so small compared to the big grown bulls.

And just cause I like the look of a nice golden straw bale.

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