Farm Wife in Training: Adventures in Calf Weaning

A few months ago, I got engaged to a wonderful country boy.

We share a passion for horses. I have owned, trained, and shown horses for many years. I am very comfortable caring for horses.

Dear Country Boy also owns cattle. Longhorns, to be specific.

How hard can it be to add cattle to my list?

And so the story begins…..

We have had some interesting adventures over the past few months.

I have assisted with preg checking the cows-without too much drama.

I have helped ear tag, vaccinate, and castrate the calves. Again, not too much drama.

I helped wean calves. This involved some drama.

What I learned from weaning:
Calves WILL try to sneak under gates. This can be bad when the gates are not hung properly, and result in the gate coming off of the hinges. Which then results in the calves escaping, which means we have to round them all up again and run them through the chutes again….in our attempt to load them onto the trailer.

Of our 9 calves this year, one calf (who has been since named Ribeye) was particular uncooperative. He was the cause of the gate unhinging.
We finally managed to get all of the calves (including Ribeye) onto the trailer.

Dear Country Boy goes to shut the trailer door…and Ribeye sees his chance. He barrels over Dear Country Boy, and escapes. On the bright side, at least only Ribeye escaped-his buddies stayed on the trailer, and Dear Country Boy shut the door.

At this point, it is dark, and there is no way we are going to catch little Ribeye. The cows are penned up, Ribeye won’t stray far from his momma, and we decide to go home and unload the calves we did catch.

The next day, Dear Country Boy saddles up his rope horse. Ribeye is in the pasture. My job is to drive the truck and trailer. I was given vague instructions-wait for Dear Country Boy to yell and tell me what to do.

So Dear Country Boy is galloping across the pasture, rope a-swinging, after Ribeye. He catches the rengeade calf, and dallys. His rope horse, sensing that Dear Country Boy is in a moment of weakness, takes the chance to start bucking.

Dear Country Boy is tied on to a 500 lb calf, trying to regain control of an unruly fresh horse. I don’t know how, but he rides out saddle bronc wannabe without loosing control of the calf.

Then the yelling begins-“Bring the mumble mumble Trailer mumble mumble mumble There.”

Bring the Trailer where? I can’t hear him over the hum of the diesel engine. So I shut it off and step out of the cab to be able to hear him better.

“Bring the Trailer OVER HERE! BY ME!”

Oh, ok. So I restart the truck, and drive across the pasture toward him. The truck spooks Ribeye, who tries to run away, but Dear Country Boy has him dally’d and his horse is standing steady.

“There, that’s good. Park and open the trailer door.”

I get out, and open the trailer door.

Dear Country Boy’s cinch is loose. Between dragging the unruly calf, and his mutton withered rope horse, his saddle is slipping. “Come here quick and tighten my cinch.”

I try to get up to his horse without spooking Ribeye, and manage to tighten it two holes. Good enough.

He drags the calf to the back of the trailer, then hands me to tail of the rope. “Go in and wrap it around one of the tie posts in the trailer, and bring it back to me.”

Ok, thats simple enough. He keeps the rope dally’d as I run the rope around a tie post, and bring it back. Then I get out of the way!

With just a little bit of pulling, Ribeye decides the trailer is a much nicer place to be, and jumps right in.

“SHUT THE DOOR!”

Well, duh! So I shut the door. Yay! Success! Unruly Ribeye is captured in the trailer!

The rest of the evening was pretty uneventful-we made it home and unloaded Ribeye without any trouble.

And Dear Country Boy even told me I was doing good at my farm wife training lessons. There might be hope for me after all!

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All of the calves

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One thought on “Farm Wife in Training: Adventures in Calf Weaning

  1. I am married to a Dear Old City Boy, and we too have adventures. Ours involve taking trips on the trains, going for long walks where we see Bears, wolves, eagles or quiet walks along the lake. We just have our adventures in a city of just under 3 million, and you seem more action in one day out there in the country then we do all week here in the big city.

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