Tuesday, 13 February 2007

"Wild West Hero"?

Saturday 10th February 2007.
The day I nearly lost my husband.
We were missing a cow (Effie) from the herd she had been missing a couple of nights.
We believed she had gone away to calf, even though she was a little early.
We were not too worried as she could not go to far, the nights had been dry and not so cold even though it was a little windy.

We sorted out the rest of the cows and sent them out they decided not to go down onto the Mointeach Mhor on this occasion but down the old dirt track in the opposite direction from our missing cow.

We set off to find Effie and bring her home; we managed to find her way out in a hollow so she could not be spotted easily.
She had a Bull calf he is a beauty, his mother is what they call a Rowen cow Purple cream and rusty red coloured.
She is a Shorthorn Cross, Limousin breed, the calf on the other hand has flashes of White running over his rump, a white blaze on his forehead and white under belly, he is a rusty red colour with white markings running through his coat.
He is quiet a stocky solid beast, his father is Limousin.

Now usually when the cows have calves they come home a day or two after, we check them to make sure they are all right feed them and leave them to bond with their offspring.
But for some reason Effie has decided she is not going to come home or share her calf with anyone.
Usually they are all quite placid, handled since birth and good-natured.

I say usually, Effie decided to stand her ground; she had taken the calf to a small island which is circumferenced by a river that has snaked a path around the land over the years, except for a small entrance at one side. The calf was lying down at the back end of the island making it difficult to cross the river at any point.
So we had to go over the small inlet. Once over Effie seemed quite willing to move, we got to the inlet and she turned towards my husband and put her head down, we knew this was a bad sign and started to back off, best not to agitate her anymore than necessary, as the calf or ourselves could get hurt.

It was to late, she made a charge for my husband catching him full in the back and knocking him over, she turned quickly and put her head down again and charged into him as he lay curled up in a ball she butted him and pushed him along the ground, I in the meantime tried to fight her off, I never thought she would do any harm to me for some reason I never thought I was in danger??? I struck her on the nose with my stick really hard to distract her, she turned once more and stomped over my husband and ran off to the back of the island with the calf.

I helped my husband up who was as shocked as I was as this had never happened in all of the years we had both been around cattle.

Thankfully he was okay a few bumps and bruises but nothing life threatening, he had the good sense as he Say's to tuck up into a small ball so she did minimal damage.

Now we have decided to leave her until she comes home herself, usually when hungry.

Now I have to make a stab at the officialdom out there who tell us in the Beef industry that we have to tag all new born calves within three days or be penalised for not doing so, this entails clipping a tag with an identification number in each ear.
I would like to hope and pray that no-one would get hurt doing this, but I know this is not the case, I know of at least four friends that have been badly hurt trying to tag calves, as the mother has become over protective.
This unfortunately is a fact of life, any species be it man beast or insect would quite rightly protect their young from harm.

I would like to take some of these people who sit in their offices making up these rules; down to do a real days work with their hands instead of their idle brains an see if they could catch a calf and tag it without mother trying to kill them.

Sometimes I thing we as a country have become over protective, what happened to sensibility and common sense.

No comments: