Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Calves around March 6 next year?

Two Fridays ago on May 28, one of the cows was in heat. I checked a gestation calendar, and if we bred her, she would be due around March 6. We spent the whole day weighing pros and cons of an early March calving versus a late March calving. We could be in the midst of a snowstorm on March 6, but on the 27th, we could be in the midst of a snow storm or mud season. Tough choice. By late afternoon, the two bovine lovebirds wore down us down. All logic was thrown out the window after listening to the two of them calling to each other -- cow in the west pasture and bull in the east pasture and our house in the middle.

We went to get Jaxon. Mike snapped the lead rope onto his halter and started walking. To be precise, Mike started walking. Jaxon just stood there. Mike pulled, and I stood behind the bull to the side, where I hoped he couldn't kick me, and I pushed and patted his rump. He'd walk a few steps and stop. Of course, at this point, the cow was completely silent, so it was hard to convince him that he was going to like the new pasture better than his current one.

As we were passing the garden, I met up with a long, fat snake. I screamed. Jaxon looked unimpressed. Mike was disappointed that he didn't have time to catch the snake and check it out more closely.

Finally, we got Jaxon to the cows, who were still completely silent, which was rather frustrating, because it was their bawling that caused us to finally decide to bring Jaxon to their pasture. Even when we took Jaxon into their pasture, they stood there looking at him from a distance. Mike led Jaxon halfway to the girls. As soon as Jaxon realized they were girls, he wanted to get to work right away. In fact, Mike didn't even have a chance to get the lead rope off the halter. Jaxon's eagerness scared the girls a bit, and you can see in the top photo that they took off in opposite directions. Ultimately, though, they decided to give him a chance, and they started to play "ring around the rosie" with him.

Now you have to remember that Jaxon is only 10 months old. He is technically capable of doing the deed, however, his knowledge is lacking, and there is no formal education program for young bulls, so it's sadly a matter of trial and error. And Jaxon made every error imaginable. He knew he was supposed to mount Molly, but he wasn't sure which side or end he was supposed to mount. Wanting to be thorough and not let us down, he went about mounting her from every possible angle. It was funny the first dozen or so times, then it got kind of sad. He did find the right end a couple times, but either he's too short or didn't have enough energy left to give himself the lift that he needed to do the job.

After half an hour, we decided to leave him with the cows. It would be nice to know when calves are due, but we didn't have the heart to take him away from the girls after he'd tried so hard. And who knows -- maybe in the next couple of hours, after we left, everything just clicked and he got it figured out. I guess we'll know next March.


SkippyMom said...

Oh, poor Jaxon - Here's hoping he did have the wherewithall and the right end when all was said and done. hee

LindaG said...

And if not today, maybe tomorrow.
Good luck to him and you. :)


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