Hello from the long lost writer on this blog. Life has been busy around here, and as a result some things had to give, the blog being one of them. But, I am back, and kicking things off with a "Cow of Note" post. For those who don't know what I'm talking about, these posts highlight specific cows that are noteworthy for some positive or negative reason. This all started when I picked up a PETA magazine, and read that ranchers do not know one of their animal's from the next, and don't care either. This is far from the truth, and these noteworthy cows are one way I highlight individuals from our herd.
While most of our cows are black, or black baldies, today's noteworthy cow is "Little Red." Thus dubbed because of her size and color (we're very original namers). We purchased Little Red as a calf, and you may be thinking that she is a cow of note because she is our only red cow. Nope, that is not the case.
Little Red is a cow of note because she is a fence crawling machine. We could not keep this cow anywhere. She isn't wild, flighty, scared or even concerned. In fact, the above picture is about as excited as she gets. But, in her calm, steady way, she will crawl up cutbanks that are over five feet tall, worm under nicely stretched wires, and navigate around cracks and crevices to find the premier pasture spot within her traveling radius.
This made her noteworthy in a bad way as soon as we discovered this habit, which showed up just after calving this spring. The issue with cows like this is they develop friends, and lead their friends astray. It's like when your child starts to hang out with someone that's a bad influence. This cow is the equivilant of that bad influence. No matter what approach we took to putting her back, she was out again in a matter of hours.
This fall we weaned Little Red's calf, number 28. After the day spent weaning, I glanced out the window and saw calves in our calving lot, which caused a skyrocketing shot of concern as they were supposed to be locked in the correl. Guess who was in the lead. Yes, number 28 and two of her buddies had carefully crawled under a cow panel that was chained to a fence, and were calmly working their way around our calving lot in search of the best escape route.
That was the final straw, and Little Red was culled based on her wandering ways when we preg checked. She was a moderate cow who raised a good calf, was very calm, bred back early (these sorts always do), and otherwise had no vices. But, choosing to exhibit such behavior on a dry year when everyone is overstocked just because of the lack of moisture was a bad decision on her part. I am still dealing with the influence she had on the other cows her age, who now require a pretty good fence to keep them in after taking a class or two from her. Hopefully whoever purchased her enjoys fencing, or gathering.
If you would like to read about other noteworthy individuals in our herd, here is a post on Number 2 and another on a cow who became a mother at a young age.