Skip to main content
Farm Fresh Forensics
rss feedour twitterour facebook page
site map
Latest Posts

Farm Fresh Blog

Saturday, April 26 2014

"The best laid plans of mice and men, often go awry" 

Robert Burns


     Moving cattle to the ranch up north has proved challenging but rewarding. Because we only moved tame former show cattle up there, they are easy to monitor. They happily come up to the cabin like dogs when we arrive, thus there is no need to search the ranch on 4wheelers counting hidden cattle. And except for the loss of our old bull, everyone has thrived.

Thrived to the point of having hippo hineys:

Except for some cubes during the roughest part of winter, this weight gain is all grass. The ranch is rich in nutrients and minerals and the cattle look better than when we were feeding them daily.

They get to live like wild cattle, and they're doing just fine - except for Paisley.

This stupid cow is the heifer I have voted off the island since we purchased her at the fair several years ago. First I wanted to cut her from the team because she gets out regularly. Then I wanted to vote her off the team because she kicks. (She's an Angus, duh!) Then I wanted to cut her from the team because she gets out, tries to kick us, or the dogs, and then walked off and left her newborn calf.  (That's REALLY a dealbreaker for me.)

Anyway, Other Half kept Paisley's dumb ass because he likes her body. (Whatever, I like cows that don't get out and don't kick.) But since they're his cattle, and he chose to keep her, we did.

And so it was, when the rancher who leases the property next door to our ranch sent us a cell phone text including a picture of a certain red cow that was with his black feeder steers, I knew without even looking which cow it was - Paisley had gone 'walk-about.'

Yes, she has 133 acres of pasture, woods, and rich wild land with plenty of water, but Paisley chose to visit another ranch. (probably because our bull died and she wanted to visit the boys)  The rancher assured us that she was fine where she was at, happily enjoying his wheat field (and getting the wheat grass runs).

We made plans to bring horses with us on our next visit to the ranch because we didn't know how much area we'd have to cover in our search for Paisley and it's springtime in Texas:

So we dragged the paint horses across Texas along with two young bulls to replace our old bull. We touched base with the rancher and he felt he could call his steers up for cubes and our renegade cow would follow. This worked well. Much to my surprise Other Half and the Rancher were easily able to slice Paisley out of the herd and close the gate on her red butt, thus isolating her on an old dirt road that serves as our 'driveway' into the ranch. The problem was getting Paisley to follow us down the road and inside our main gate.

He gave us a sack of feed and at first Paisley was happy to follow me as I drove on the mule and the men shooed her from behind. It was looking good. She was within ten feet of the gate -

- but NOOOOOOOO!  (This is Paisley!)

She had a Paisley moment and tried to run over both men in her attempt to race back down the road and to her new friends, the steers.  So we walked back down there. I fear I taught the rancher new words he had never heard come from a woman's lips.  (If he spends more time with Paisley he will learn those words on his own.)

So the three of us spent a while trying to herd the stupid cow out of the thick cedar and mesquite trees. This was clearly not a job for a horse. The trees were too short. The brush too thick. It also looked like it was a perfect place for copperheads (we've killed two here already) and rattlesnakes (killed one here already).

But after spending way too much time fighting tick-infested brush trying to push, cajole, and coax the stupid cow into cooperating, I lost all patience. We had tried the carrot, now it was time to try the stick:

Yes, my 'go-to' dog was up at bat again.
I drove to the cabin, grabbed the best ranch hand dog-biscuits can buy, and drove back to the neighbor's place. Saying a little prayer, and crossing myself, I sent my beloved pup out to work. Paisley knew that dog and she was having none of it. Lily got kicked at, stomped at, run into trees, and through cactus, but she never quit. She patiently worried that dumb-ass cow until the cow made the fatal mistake of trying to escape the dog by running into abandoned cattle pens in a run-down barnyard. Hallelujah! We had her! I called Lily off because there was absolutely no way on God's green earth I was gonna send my dog into that snake-infested ancient cow pen. The men used an old panel to lock Paisley inside while Lily and I drove back to get the cattle trailer. (work smarter, not harder!)

In a rare move for Paisley, she easily walked into the cattle trailer like a civilized cow and rode back home. I made Other Half promise that if she gets out again, she goes to the sale barn. After getting Paisley settled, we drove to Dairy Queen to reward Lily for all her hard work with a Dairy Queen ice cream cone. Lily was exhausted.

But after a dip cone and good night's sleep she was ready to work cattle the next day.

I have said it before and I'll say it again - her work isn't stellar or flashy, and she certainly would never pass muster in a herding dog trial, but this little dog is the best damned ranch employee you could ever buy.

Posted by: forensicfarmgirl AT 12:29 pm   |  Permalink   |  1 Comment  |  Email
man (woman) & dog, can't be beat! Looking at the photos of your cows, thier weight is impressive!!
Posted by rochelle on 04/26/2014 - 01:54 PM

Post comment
Email Address

(max 750 characters)
* Required Fields
Note: All comments are subject to approval. Your comment will not appear until it has been approved.

Red Feather Ranch, Failte Gate Farm

© 2009-2019, Farm Fresh Forenics, Forensicfarmgirl, Failte Gate Farm, Red Feather Ranch All Rights Reserved.

rss feedour twitterour facebook page