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Monday, January 31 2011

Why I like Sheep better than Cattle -

As a rule, sheep don't try to kill you. The same cannot be said for cattle.  Other Half is a cow man. Like most of his kind, he has an ingrained prejudice against sheep and sheep people. Cow people tend to hold themselves above sheep people. I haven't quite figured this out since my sheep have never tried to kill me and yet, cattle seem to do this on a semi-regular basis.  Take Saturday night:

Come home from work to discover that despite the fact that Other Half had INSISTED he and Son would be working cattle EARLY in the day, he has STILL not done it.  In fact, he has planned to wait until I get home. Now one would think that this meant he valued my in-put. Apparently such was not the case. 

The Chores:

1) Separate new red calf with cough, shoot him up with antibiotics, tag his ear
2) Separate the mother of another calf who has still not passed the afterbirth, pull afterbirth out, shoot her up with antibiotics


Note that Son has managed to get mammas and babies in the roping arena.  (He did not use a Border Collie.  It took him over 2 hours. He had to physically pick up some newborn calves and carry them by hand through the chute to get them into the arena.)

Note that little red calf and his mama are already eating hay in the catch pen. Woo hoo!  Half that battle is done!  Cut out his mama and close pipe panel in his face.  He is upset.  His mother is enraged.  Note that Big Red Mama Cow has plans on stomping us into mud if she can get back into the catch pen.  Son catches calf.  Calf bawls.  Rodeo begins.  Appreciate the fact that Son is Big & Strong as he flips calf on its side.  Wham!  Bam!  Thank you! Ma'am!  Calf is done.  Turn him back with his Mama. 

Now the real rodeo begins . . .

Note Black Mama has nasty stringy afterbirth hanging from her butt. Note that she is ignoring her baby. Looks like someone better shape up or she will find herself at the sale barn. Cut Mama out and put her in catch pen.  She is still ignoring her baby.  Baby walks up to catch pen to talk with her.  She vaguely recalls that she had a baby several days ago.  "Oh yeah, it's you again."

He toddles back to the herd.

Ask Other Half EXACTLY how he plans to get cow cleaned up.  He informs me that he will simply rope her, put bull tongs in her nose, whereupon she will hold still while he works.

Do WHAT??!!

I argue that this is impossible. I point out that once he ropes this cow, she will go apeshit, he will be flipped around like a monkey on a string, AND the cow will end up kicking the shit out of him.  It seemed to be a quite logical conclusion to me, but then, I'm a girl. . . and a sheep person.  I pointed out that since we have no stocks or squeeze chute over here, we could MAKE one by undoing the pipe panel corral and "oooch" it toward the roped cow, thus pinning her against the board fence where we could safely work.

And there it was . . .

The dividing line between men and women. The point where the man decides that he knows it all and dismisses the woman.

And he so does.

He ropes Big Black Cow.  She bawls and the rodeo commences. I stand on the fence and watch.  It is midnight. I am calculating how long the wait at the Emergency Room will take.  She finally calms down a bit but refuses to allow him to put bull tongs in her nose.  (Sista ain't no fool!) But in time however, the two men get bull tongs on the enraged cow.  She is snubbed to the fence and everyone re-groups.  I point out that she is still VERY DANGEROUS because she can kick the snot out of anyone who plans on getting near her rear end.  (and perhaps we should move the panels and pin her against the fence.)


Other Half points out that this is a former show cow and won't kick. 

Do WHAT??!!

In what universe?  This bawling, slobbering, angry creature in no way resembles a show cow anymore.  In fact, she looks very much like a wild animal plucked out of the swamps of the South Texas Lowlands. This is NOT A HAPPY ANIMAL.

He ignores my warning.

Cow is swishing her tail back and forth.  Cow is VERY ANGRY.

He ignores her warning.

With Son holding tightly on the bull tong chain, Other Half scooches up to Angry Cow's Ass. 

And she kicks the shit out of him.

The sound of ripping blue jeans tears through the night. Other Half bellows and limps away.  I stand there in silence. Son and I exchange looks. He is putting weight on it, so it must not be broken. Maybe . . .  hopefully. We examine the leg and it looks bad. Bad, but not broken.  And in the world of working cattle, that means - get back to work.

But guess what!

He decides that perhaps, just perhaps, it might be easier to take panels apart and ooch them forward to press cow against board fence.  (No sh*#, Sherlock!)  I cannot stand it.  I point out that WASN"T THAT WHAT "I" SAID??  He allows as how that's where he got the idea.

So we do that. And wonder of wonders - it works.  Other Half pulls lots of stringy, rotten, afterbirth from cow's butt. I give her injection of antibiotics. We release Ungrateful Cow who scampers back to herd.  She barely notices her calf.  (This young lady may well find herself at the sale barn.)

As we walk back to the barn, I point out, rather loudly, that I deeply resent it when he blows me off and disregards my advice when working large animals.  I further point out that Men do jobs with the BRAWN, but Women must do the same jobs using their BRAINS.  Son finds this conversation vastly amusing.  Other Half just nods and limps off.  

But at least he said the words I needed to hear . . .

"Okay . . . you were right. And I was wrong."

Music to my ears.  And that's why I like sheep better than cattle.

Posted by: forensicfarmgirl AT 01:40 pm   |  Permalink   |  5 Comments  |  Email
Comments:
Cattle folks and sheep folks have been fighting since before barbed wire. I think they still are. My vet and I once got a giggle out of his vet tech (Big and Strong type). It was time for vaccinations and he thought he could man-handle my horse (14 hands). 800lbs. vs. 250 lbs hand to hoof combat. 800lbs wins every single time.
Posted by CeeCee on 01/31/2011 - 06:52 PM
Nope, you simply cannot manhandle something that much bigger than you. (men don't always understand this concept!)
Posted by forensicfarmgirl on 02/01/2011 - 08:14 PM
And that's why they don't call it "womanhandle".
Posted by paulainnevada on 02/01/2011 - 11:30 PM
EXACTLY!
Posted by forensicfarmgirl on 02/05/2011 - 06:02 PM
Love this! It made me laugh so hard and I needed a laugh. Forced fed husband your humor so he could laugh too. Thanks! Stephanie
Posted by Stephanie Morgan on 02/24/2011 - 09:43 AM

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