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Cow Tails

Discussion in 'Off Topic Threads' started by joe kuhn, Oct 17, 2009.

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  1. joe kuhn

    joe kuhn Furry Lives Matter TS Supporters

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    It was my job to feed the cattle before going to school, so I did my job and was just in the door at home when somebody called to say our cattle were out.

    I drove down to the end of the lane and found them approaching the main road after walking down the lane from their barn (different lane). Oh boy. I got out of my vehicle and quietly walked towards them. The leaders were sniffing the blacktop road which smelled different from their lane. One picked up his head real fast and looked at me. I stopped. He turned and went back towards his barn. Others turned and soon the whole bunch began turning around and walking the half mile all the way back to the barn. Turning the whole herd was one mean feat, and only the beginning.

    There I was walking up behind a herd of about 90 cattle, corn fields on both sides of the road, but no fences. Once in a while one would stop and grab a quick mouth full of green grass, but they all kept walking, either on the road, or in the ditches, right down between those two fields like it was a tunnel.

    When we approached the farm stead I begain wondering how I would turn them into the barn yard and get them back into their pen. That pen was 'home', and the only home they had ever known with food/water and dry places to sleep, so they turned on their own and nicely walked right back through the gate they had come through on thier happy little stroll. This was the very gate I had closed but forgotten to securely chain. I must have been thinking ahead towards something at school.

    My lucky day per the hired man, but I knew to take it slow and not get into a predator/predatee type of a chase out into the corn fields and lost for weeks type of a situation. I'd seen guys chase their cattle around the barn on loading day with wips and hollaring. That would have led to a catstrophe on this day.
     
  2. Setterman

    Setterman Well-Known Member

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    Joe, you were lucky! If you feed with a silo auger, next time just turn the auger on. Chow time!
     
  3. Hauxfan

    Hauxfan Well-Known Member

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    That reminds me of my days as a youngster when Dad farmed.

    Our farm was a quarter section and it ran the for at least at least 3/4 mile with a lane down one side to access the different fields.

    The last field was a pasture and of course that is where the cows were.

    My brother and I would have to go get those cows and once they were in the lane, we'd get them to running and we'd grab onto one of the cow's tail and hang on. We'd run those cows all the way back to the barn. Or as I remember, those cows would sort of drag us all the home.

    Well, that was a lot of fun for us.......until my Dad caught us doing it and showed us why we shouldn't. Some of the cows were leaking milk by the time they got back and that was milk he needed to help pay for the farm.

    Thanks for the memories Joe, I had forgotten the fun I used to have on that farm.

    Hauxfan!
     
  4. Catpower

    Catpower Molon Labe TS Supporters

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    I was brought up on a farm, in NW Iowa, Dad had 1,920 acres, we finished out about 800 head of cattle per year, but it seemed like every year or so some how a feedlot full about 100-120 would get out, one of the most memorable times was when my brother had just bought a brand new 78 Chevy 4 wd pick up, kinda cuased a stir as we were staunch Ford people, but right after he got it a bunch of cattle got out, we had them headed back for the feed lot when one decided to take off through a corn field, it was 5-6 ft tall, so my brother in his new shiny truck said, don't worry I'll get him, and tears off through the corn field, the dew was flying over the top of the truck then ther was a big thud, with the sound of the fan in the radiator.

    Yup he got 'em alright, didn't hurt the steer too bad, he was about 1,100-1,200 lbs, but it did a job on my brothers shiny new pick um up truck
     
  5. willing

    willing Member

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    Many,many years ago my job was to feed the cows and then sweep down the barn floor behind them while Dad was milking them. It was summer and after milking morning and night the cows were turned out to pasture. When the milking was done we turned them loose and they paraded out of the barn. They had a trench behind them to catch any bowel movements while in their stanchions but occasionally while walking out one would feel the urge. My job was to run up behind and grab its tail and hold it down TIGHTLY while it walked on off of my nice clean floor. Occassionly I either didn't hold down tight enough or was a second or two late . The result was I had to clean the floor and myself.

    Bill
     
  6. Setterman

    Setterman Well-Known Member

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    We milked till dad sold out in the late 80's. Get up at 5:30 AM, milk for 2 hours, then feed the livestock and bed the cows. Then do it again at 6:00 PM, 7 days a week. We never took vacations. It was hard work. Our lives revolved around the crops and cows. But it was great growing up on the farm. We've lost some of that work ethic as our farm/rural heritage disappeared. Could you imagine some of the kids these days putting in those kind of hours??
     
  7. Clayshooter08

    Clayshooter08 Member

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    It was the "Industrial Revolution" that took the farmers (and their sons) out of the fields and into the factories. The consequences, Mom's raised the boys to be men instead of Dad's and Dad made more money by working longer hours in the factories which kept them away from their families. I enjoyed my boyhood on farms as well, milking cows and picking up eggs!!! Great memories!!
     
  8. joe kuhn

    joe kuhn Furry Lives Matter TS Supporters

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    When I was real little I used to play in the sandbox and the chickens would hunt and peck in the yard next to me. The chickens were companions. Then one day Grandpa showed up with a big block of wood and an axe. He caught my chickens one by one and chopped their heads off.

    WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU DOING GRANDPA? These guys are my friends!

    I was probably only 3 or 4 years old then. Mom and Dad had a bet that chickens raised on the farm with corn were better tasting than the chickens she was buying at the Jewel. Dad won the bet.
     
  9. Setterman

    Setterman Well-Known Member

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    Our family ( in those days that included all the inlaws and grandparents) did all of our own butchering. I remember seeing chickens hanging from the close line, and big vats of meat hand ground for burger and sausage. It was a 2 day deal, and lots of beer. Everyone knew what their job was.
     
  10. joe kuhn

    joe kuhn Furry Lives Matter TS Supporters

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    Back to cows.

    We had a cow that looked like the Borden's cow Elsie, so that's what we called her. I liked Elsie. She would walk in the water of the creek and eat the green grass that grew along the bank that the other cows couldn't reach. She was a leader. She would lead the herd through the creek and under the fence that was never very permanent because the creek flooded several times a year. I once saw her do this and take shocks from the electric fencer while in the water. All that to get the grass on the other side of the fence.

    Dad only liked Elsie because she threw such a nice calf - a big framed dairy calf that he could put allot of meat on. Dad didn't like her for the obvious reasons.

    We always did artificial insemination with blood lines that were way out of our reach in terms of buying bulls. Dad loved the calves we got from this. Very few people have ever heard their dad say, "Pass me that vial of semen, will you?" while his arm was all the way up some cows butt...Like I said, they were great calves.

    One day I drove over to the barn and Dad was yelling at Elsie in the barn. She went running past the gate followed by Dad who walked right past me to his vehicle, got in and drove away. On his way by he said, "It's your job to get that damn cow in the barn and in the stanchion so I can breed her." and handed me the 2x4 he was carrying.

    Hm. Who is smarter? Joe or the cow? We already knew where Dad stood. Hah!

    I promptly got a 5 gallon pail and filled it half full of pure shelled corn. This is like prime rib to a trap shooter on the last night of the Grand. I shook that pail and the wind carried that smell right over to Elsie's nose. I set it inside the barn, inside the gate area so Elsie could see it and went around back. By the time I was peaking around the corner Elsie was already walking into the barn which I followed up with the gate. Moved the bucket to the far side of the stanchion and she walked in like a dog on a leash.

    Done. I drove home and Dad wanted to know how I did it. I didn't say a word. He went over to the barn and learned the answer to his question. I hope that cow got her fill of shelled corn. She deserved it. I know what she got when I finished with her. And the cycle of life continued on...
     
  11. willyo

    willyo TS Member

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    Thanks all of you guys!!

    Your stories reminded me of my youth on the farm, 70 some years ago.

    Thanks for the memories, stay well and shoot more!

    willyo
     
  12. joe kuhn

    joe kuhn Furry Lives Matter TS Supporters

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    All stories are welcome.

    Our hired man, Fred, was a perfectionist. He had farmed with mules down in MO as a young man and brought numerous improvements to our place when he retired, moved to town, and started working with us. Fred would clean out the cattle barns every Saturday morning regardless of the weather. Afterwards we'd spread new straw around the barns or new corn cobs if we had them. The cattle would run around in circles and kick at the straw to help spread it. I swear those animals were smiling when they did this, but their mouth wasn't quite set up for a smile.

    Later we'd come back and they'd all be sitting down in the new straw with their heads up, eyes half closed chewing their cuds. Contentment in the herd is a beautiful thing.

    One day I was standing there watching this and got caught up in it, talking to the cattle like they were people. Dad was around the corner and answered me like he was one of the cattle. We both had a pretty good laugh over this. Dad 1, Joe 1. Dad always said if you can't have fun while working, why work?

    One thing about farm work is you get plenty of exercise. I used to do allot of shoveling and my arms showed it. I was thin but strong like lots of farm kids. My arms had the biggest veins you've ever seen from the work, rest, work cycle I'd repeat until the entire task was done. Grandpa's work pattern developed into a work ethic that has served us kids well.

    Regards, Joe
     
  13. wireguy

    wireguy TS Member

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    I grew up in the almond and walnut orchards of northern California, which is a different kind of country experience. Then just as I graduated high school my step-dad bought this small ranch up in this canyon that was well known as the local robber's roost. Everyone who was running from the law seemed to head for Butte Creek Canyon. It only lasted about 4 years but I got to do the whole hogs horses cattle farm birds pond wild animals milk cows riding the range chasing cattle carrying firepower everywhere I went thing. I learned a lot and it was a great experience.
     
  14. Chango2

    Chango2 Active Member

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    Speaking of ranching and farming, I have some long-lost ancestors that ranched in Wyoming. I wonder if there is a way I can get to a register of ranch owners for that state? My late father and my now old and spry mother visited those relatives once, but they didn't supply me with many details. I was always curious about who and where those relatives were or still are.

    So does anybody know how to look up such informatiion via a state ranching organization etc.?

    Thanks,

    David
     
  15. willing

    willing Member

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    One time we had a cow which was born without horns. We called her the "muley'? cow. None of the other cows liked her and she was always by herself. One morning after a storm she didn't come to the barn to be milked. I got on my pony and rode out to the pasture to look for her. During any storm the other cows went to the side and got under the trees and she would be out in the open. Well guess what, she had been hit by lightning. Deader than a doornail! So much for staying away from trees during a lightning storm. We called the Hide and Tallow Co to come get her.

    Bill
     
  16. joe kuhn

    joe kuhn Furry Lives Matter TS Supporters

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    When the tallow company came we had to put $5 in a jar with a lid on it on top of the dead animal. That was their pickup fee. Then it went up to $10. Wonder what it is now.

    Thought of another story. There was a steer that ended up outside the pen every morning one summer. Did't know how he got out, there he'd be, eating green grass. I'd feed the rest and open the gate and walk him back in every day for a week.

    Then I got fed up with it and actually got mad and went around that pen pushing on the wire panels between the 6 foot high posts. I calmed down right away after realizing my emotion had moved me into the exact thing I should have been doing to find the escape route.

    Eariler in the week, I'd walked the perimeter several times looking for the exit. On this day, I finally found it. The staples had pulled out of the wood on one of the posts, so the steer could push his way through right next to the post and the wire would slap back shut, leaving no trace of how he had gotten out.

    Damn smart steer. A few extra staples and the problem was solved for good.
     
  17. Country Squire

    Country Squire TS Member

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    One day an Ohio farmer and a Texas rancher were talking. The rancher asked how much land do you have? The farmer replied oh about a 100 acres. The rancher said I can get in my truck at sunrise and drive until sundown and not get to the end of my land. The Ohio farmer said" I used to have a truck like that"
     
  18. Dahaub

    Dahaub Active Member

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    I lived with Grandpa for three summers when I was growing up. It was like going to heaven and getting up in the morning and doing it all again. He was a country vet as well as a cattle man and farmer. Keep those stories coming I love it all. Dan
     
  19. recurvyarcher

    recurvyarcher Well-Known Member

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    Joe, a couple of years ago it cost $150, and you can't bury 'em and lime 'em anymore because of ground soil contamination.

    Our cows used to get out sometimes, and so did everyone else's. We had more than 60 percent of our student body on dairy farms. If somebody's mom called the school, they made an announcement that someone was coming to pick the kid up. If the kid was your friend, you would just show up at the front door to pile into the car or truck. The school knew you'd be gone for a couple of hours while you and your pals got the cows back in. It happened often.

    Well, one day we went off to help some neighbor kids get their cows back in. We got there, and the cows were laying out in the field like they were really sick. Couldn't get them up. The kids who owned the cows lived by themselves (they were teens), because their mom passed away and their dad abandoned them. The house was a really old farm house that the grandparents left the kids, and the kids forged stuff so that they wouldn't be adopted out. My parents helped them with money for utilities, sometimes, but the kids did ok with their dairy operation...enough to keep them barely afloat. I think people knew, but didn't say anything because the kids worked hard and they didn't want to see them placed. Anyway, what we discovered was that one of the kids was growing a somewhat large crop of MaryJane, and the cows had gotten into it. THEY WERE HIGH! LOL!!!

    Another story is that my girlfriend's kids are always making pets out of the steer that are being fattened up for family slaughter. So my girlfriend's solution was to name them Burger and Steak each year. I thought that was pretty funny.

    I hated milking every day, twice a day, no matter what. I vowed I would never do it again after I left home. But I did it as a favor for my girlfriend's dad whenever he had to go on a business trip, as recently as a few years ago. I guess I missed the fresh milk. I did it so that I could bring home 2 gallons a day. Nothing like it.
     
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