Wednesday, October 5, 2011
A couple of months ago when we were sorting cattle for market, we 'found' a steer that was bigger than all of the others, so we decided to keep him in the corral and start fattening him up for the freezer. (yes, I know it sounds awful, but where do you think beef comes from??) Anyway, I kept looking at him and thinking that I had seen one that was WAY bigger than him. Tim and I were walking around the pastures one evening and I told him that I had seen a steer that was HUGE and he had the wrong one in the corral. I started looking around and saw this cow with BIG thighs - and said 'he's about as big as that one.' Well, it WAS him! Tim and I opened the corral panel and let the other steer out (much to his relief I imagine!) and put the BIG guy in. Have you ever seen the movie Babe? You know the duck with the eating disorder (Christmas means carnage!)? I think this guy has been 'hiding' for a while and avoiding us. But, we are smarter than the average steer and managed to be the boss of him! ha!
We had a pretty bad drought here in August and didn't mow our yard at all. Then we got some rain, and some more rain, and some more rain and couldn't mow! It was too wet! So, we got the idea that we would block the driveway and let the steer out of the corral so he could eat the thick grass that's in the yard. We (and when I say we, I mean Tyler) ran a strand of electric fence across the opening to the driveway and we let the steer out. During the night, the steer stepped over the strand of fence and walked out to the road - because the grass is so much better along the road of course! In an effort to prove that I really am smarter than a steer, I blocked the driveway with the dump truck. It was getting to be a pain in the neck to drive up there, get out of the van, get in the truck, back it up, drive the van through, get back in the truck and put it across the driveway and then get back in the van! We parked the truck in the barn and Tyler put 2 more strands with clips across the driveway opening and now we just have to move them. Much easier. (unless it is dark and they get tangled and you are afraid of getting shocked...but that's another story!) The UPS guy however, won't move the strands so he just puts our boxes by the fence.
The steer - my 'buddy'- is wandering around the house eating and eating. The kids have knighted him Sir Loin and they mostly remember to watch out for cow poop when they walk to and from the bus.
In the mornings, I go get the dog, open the chicken door, give them some scratch and yell "Hey buddy, want some grain?" Sir Loin actually seems to know what I'm saying and will come over to the barn and quietly wait for his scoop of sweet feed. I'm glad he's a relatively calm steer because my heart beats wildly when I hear his foot steps behind me following me to the feed stall. Some days I can even feel his breath on my neck! He'll head to the butcher when Kyle comes home - about 6 weeks. We figure the grass will be pretty much eaten up by then and the big bag of sweet feed will be gone.