Wednesday, 27 February 2008

Rowan Skye for Effie

Well Effie did it again, she gave birth to a little heifer calf this time she was kept in a week before the birth.
We did not want to have the same shenanigans as we did the last time when she gave birth to Buster out on the common grazing's, that was an event that happened almost to the day last year under my posting "Wild West Hero".
We noticed that she was letting down at the weekend, that's when the bones start to loosen so the calf can get out, she was also putting an udder on, so in she went to the calving pen.
Effie is a cow that likes to think she is boss, she shakes her head and snorts at you when you go to fasten or unfasten her chain.
Her bark is much worse than her bite, unless like any of them they have a calf then the hormones kick in and they become unpredictable.
Even though you may have been around the same animals all their lives, they change when young are born, much like any mother they would die to protect their young.
Effie has always had character, when I first saw her she was 6 months old about 8 years ago, at the Torlundy auction mart, we were not supposed to be there that day as we were not selling, but my husband wanted to go and see what the prices were like.
Well Effie came running into the ring with fire and temper in her, there was not many people there that day it was rather quite for some reason, or most of the buyers had gone for tea.
My husband was sat at the front talking to a couple of friends & neighbours, like they do at these events, talk about the weather the price of feed and fertiliser you know that sort of thing.
I was sat at the back of the auction ring on the top row to get a good view of the cattle coming through and take a note of the prices for the weight and breed, this was to compare what we may or may not get at the next sale, more like a rough estimate really.
Anyway Effie came running in to the ring, a beautiful Rowan coloured calf with a cute face, she slammed on the anchors and looked around she started mooing loudly and running around, she stopped and stared up at me and started calling again, fate took a hand in Effie's future, I started to bid on her, we had no intentions of going to market to buy but I could not let her pass by, someone else started to bid, the price went up slowly, but I got her for £110.00 which was a bargain at that time.
The auctioneer asked who's name? I said my husbands name, my husband then swung around in mid conversation and looked at me as though to say you never did did you?
Well I did, she came from Skye, the man who owned her was and is the nicest person you could ever meet, he asks me about her every time we bump into one another at the sales or shows, I give him a progress report on her births and babies, he feels the same way we do he loves his animals and treats them like family.
Effie came home and grieved for her mum for nearly a week, nothing we could do appeased her, once she settled down she turned out to be a wonderful cow.
She nearly got her marching orders after last years near catastrophe, but we relented and let her have one more chance, as you do when you love someone or something.
Effie gave birth on Monday night, we went in to check her about 6:30pm she was pacing about, she does not like you watching her so we left her to it for a couple of hours.
We went back in about 8:00pm and there she was a beautiful Rowen coloured heifer the spitting image of Effie.
We did not stay long just enough time to check to make sure she and baby were fine, give her some extra nourishment and water as she gets agitated.
We left them to it...... in the morning Effie and calf were up and watching the door, calf had been fed and washed spic and spam by mum.
She might be crabbed and moody but she looks after her calves and makes an excellent job of them.
We decided to call the calf Skye, as her mum is from Skye, Skye's father is a Limousin Bull called Ronwick Iceman, the last calf Effie had was also from the same bull we called him Buster, he is near Elgin and has grown in to a wonderful beast, he is being finished off at the moment to go to market for food, that is the part I hate so much, letting them go for feed, but that is our way of life and the boy calves unless they are pedigree always go to market for meat after all the nation has to be fed.
I will post some pictures of Effie's Rowan Skye that is when I can get near her.
When I posted about Effie the last time and the tagging rules stating that you had to tag in 3 days of the calf being born, the rules have been relaxed a little as so many people were getting injured, now you are allowed 21 days if you have a cow that is wild, but you have to notify the authorities which cow is involved and so on, more paperwork!!!!
Anyway crabbed as she is we still love her, and I don't care what anyone says, she has been a good cow, pop's her calves out with no problem, fate took hold of our hands that day and put us all together, my husband always says "what's put out for you will not go by you", neither did Effie ;-)

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