Thursday, July 29, 2010


It has taken me a couple of days to be able to compose myself to write the follow-up  post about the steers.  It went both harder and easier than I expected.

Friends lent us their horse trailer to transport the steers.  It was a challenge to get them inside--Reuben had never been inside a trailer and Lasso only when he was a week old and came to our farm. An old heavy-duty barn door was used for a ramp.
We made a chute with the moveable electric fence to guide them toward the  trailer, but once they got close they could escape into the bushes. Then I remembered the metal bunkbeds I had purchased at  a garage sale with the idea of creating a garden trellis. The mattress supports were perfect fence panels to guide the steers close to the trailer so their only option was to go inside.
Reuben could not resist cow cookies and finally  climbed aboard.
Once Reben was in, Lasso  was willing to climb in too.  I was sobbing by this point, but Cadence stayed amazingly relaxed and collected, which was surely helpful in calming the steers.
Rog and Cadence drove the trailer to the processor in Winona.  When the  truck pulled out onto the highway, Lariat was standing at the edge of the yard mooing mournfully after it --that's when I totally broke down.

Lariat mooed herself hoarse all night. I lay awake worrying that sometimes her voice sounded far away and maybe she had broken out--so I got up five times during the night, put on clothes and went out to check on her. I would stroke her and talk to her and she would quiet until I went inside and the bawling would start again.
The first two nights were pretty wretched, but last night Lariat was quiet.  She has never been very nice to LaFonda, pushing her around all the time to show she is boss, but now she seems to have buddied up to her a bit. Perhaps the hierarchy has changed now that Lariat doesn't have a calf,  but LaFonda does not have such a bossy disposition and is very sweet to Lariat.


Marie said...

poor Lariat ....

more hugs.....


katiegirl said...

Gosh, you almost had me in tears! Lasso looks great, he has really finished out well. Is Lariat bred again?

Susan said...

Thanks, Katie and Marie.
Lariat is bred! Hopefully, LaFonda will be this weekend. The image of two calves romping around the pasture next summer melts my heart.