Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Still Farming

Only slower and smaller. More time for details. The boss turned several of the little bulls into steers yesterday and dehorned a couple. 

We have been having issues with Bruce, Broadway's most recent bull calf. He was pretty oxygen-deprived at birth and has always been kind of backward. After he was put in his own little stall, even though he had a big heifer next to him to show him how things work, he would not learn to use his water bowl.

This simply requires that the animal push a paddle with their nose to release a stream of clear, cold water.

Twice a day I had to hold his paddle down with a stick so he could drink his fill. In the time he has been there several other little calves have been taught to drink, but he just wouldn't learn.

The other day he got big symptoms, but off...I was sure it was related to his unwillingness to drink. Since the outside pen, which used to be our sawdust shed, and then became a heifer pen, is now clean and empty, as the heifers that lived there were all sold, we put him out there.

We cleaned the 150-gallon watering trough that serves it and filled it with fresh water, gave him some tasty hay and corn meal, and put him out there.

He was actually too ignorant to even drink from the watering trough. I had to hang a pail of water next to it until he found it. Now he is drinking and eating and doing better, but I am thinking maybe keeping him until fall might be unwise.

If he doesn't take hold and thrive we may just sell him.


joated said...

Veal and calf's liver is always an option.

Anonymous said...

That's what I was thinking. He could be shall I put this...tasty.

Terry and Linda said...

We had a mentally challenged calf once. What a job...we had to teach her to walk, had to teach her how to suck, teach her every single thing along life's way. We had no choice as this calf was a catch and heifer calf and was to be used as a 4-H project, with the Mom being returned to the original owner.

So we did...gradually she caught on...heavy on gradually. At the fair she took Grand Champion...go figure.

You don't have to have a brain, you know, to win beauty contests. :)


Ed said...

Hope he catches on..:-)

threecollie said...

Joated, lol, yes, but it is expensive to process them. used to be a do it yourselfer, but not so much any more.

Jan, always possible

Linda, isn't that funny! He is much better this morning and was mooing for his grain.

Ed, thanks, me too. Frustrating to raise one so long and then hit a wall like that. He seems to have figured out drinking from the trough now, so maybe he will come along.