Sunday, July 10, 2011

Return of the bull

Lesson # 953: NEVER assume that a bull will stay in a trailer simply because you are standing in the open doorway.

Lesson # 954: Always wear blue jeans around cattle.

Because a bull really needs more than two girlfriends to stay happy, we share a bull with another person who also owns two cows. Jaxon spends three months here, then three months there, and so on. It works well because he gets our girls pregnant, then goes to get their girls pregnant, then stays here for another three months until our girls calve, then he goes back over to his other home to stay there until those girls calve. By then our girls are three months postpartum and ready to breed again. And so the cycle goes on.

Jaxon is the big guy in the middle, reunited with two of his girlfriends.
Bridget (left) is horned, and Molly (right) is polled like Jaxon.
Thursday I picked up Jaxon to bring him home so he could get our cows pregnant again. Jaxon is almost two years old, and he really is a good bull. (You have to know that before you read the rest of the story.) I decided to open the trailer door and snap the lead rope onto his collar. Simple enough, right? Never! As soon as I started to crack open the door, he calmly pushed his way out of trailer. I tried to block him with my body, and he lifted one leg and began to step out. My leg was in the way. Wow, those hooves are sharp! As the pain registered in my brain, I started to feel panicked and was expecting him to barrel out of the trailer and start running. But he didn't. He was as calm as could be, while I stumbled backwards and screamed, expecting to see a bone sticking out of my leg. But it quickly became apparent that my leg wasn't broken -- just a little bruised and bloody. Although I had not succeeded in getting the lead rope attached to Jaxon's collar, he just stood there right outside the trailer as Jonathan attached the rope and began leading him through the barn to the pasture. It was weird to feel so panicked while everyone around me seemed so calm, including the bull.

I used to think that I needed a friendly bull. Now I realize I need a well-trained bull -- as in a bull who understands "stay!" like my dog. Considering the odds of that happening, maybe I should give up on cattle and just be happy with my little goats.


Miss Effie said...

Girlfriend!! Look at those horns!! OMG! You are ONE lucky girl!!!!! One swing of the head ..... and that huge gouge would seem like nothing!

Hope you are ok ....

Be careful there!!!!!!!

Mrs. Trixi said...

Oh, my, that looks bad. We are going to be getting into cows soon and this post did not ease my mind!! ha ha
I hope it heals up quickly.

Vegetable Garden Cook said...


Debby said...

Glad you are ok. Have you had a tetanus shot, lately?

Mama Pea said...

Thank heavens Jaxon is a friendly, gentle, calm bull! But you really could have been seriously injured. Lesson learned, right? It can all happen so quickly. I was home alone day before yesterday and fell off a ladder backwards. Let's just say it's a darn good thing I have a very hard head and strong German bones. It was definitely a lesson to me to slow down and THINK more than I have been. I'm sure you will be thinking through situations more now, too. So glad your injury wasn't more serious.

LindaG said...

I'm glad to see it wasn't worse. I hope you will get well soon!
What else could you wear around cattle? Chaps?

*hugs* ♥

Donna OShaughnessy said...

I have found the best thing to waer around our cattle is my husband. I am capable of doing most of what he does but I got over my feminist ways awhile back. I let him do the tougher more dangerous things, We both feel better. EXCEPT for the horses. They are definately my thing. Oh well, life is full of exceptions
And absolutelty see an MD. E. Coli in an open wound is serious. Hooves are filthy

Jenny Holden said...

Oh dear, that's one heck of a wound. But something to show off down the pub ;o) Sounds like he wasn't being nasty though, we just have to remember to avoid the dangerous bits when we're working with our stock!

MamaTea said...

Thank goodness you weren't seriously hurt! That could have turned out quite differently...but I'm sure you already knew that. ;) Glad to hear you're ok!

Barb J. said...

Wow. You're lucky you didn't need stitches. I imagine that was pretty painful but I guess it could always have been worse.

Marian said...

I have never (knock on wood) had trouble moving our Dexters, including our bull Klondike, Molly and Bridget's dad, and I'm a 115-pound weakling female. But then, Klondike could read my mind and would just do what I was wanting him to do without me even saying anything! Our vet loved him and so did we!

But it is most useful to carry a whip or even stick in your hand when you are moving cattle. We've never used a whip on our animals, except to tickle them with it...never even had to snap it for the noise effect. Our cattle just seem leery of a stick or whip and walk away from it.

The only time I've had issue with horns is when I'm petting or scratching them and they move their heads to get flies off their backs. But I always give myself an out; this has come in handy when I'm standing next to a cow and another cow decides it wants my attention or to jump the cow close to me. Sometimes you just need to get out of the way.

We have many friends who have been injured (seriously) by horses, but seldom do we hear of accidents with these gentle Dexters.

Marian said...

Oh! Sorry re the mishap and hope you recover quickly. I did get stepped on one time by one of our young bulls, but it was my fault, not his, and I was wearing Crocs!


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