Wild thing!

98B591E7-B709-4046-A76C-D4CE327B8048.jpegWild thing…makes my heart sink! Breena, you over-hormonal cow who gave birth to the first of our calves this year, caused my stress level to hit jackpot. One charging beast and I quickly left the byre! Mini Crofter was dropped off at our lovely neighbours who had to make out what I was asking for while in tears (laugh if you want but don’t come running to me if you get charged by a hormonal cow post calving while on your own with a toddler bawling his head off while watching…he can get his counselling once he’s older, I was working on strong coffee and prayers…).  Back to the byre to try and pen the beast. Still wild and my nerves on a very fine balance. With that I did the unthinkable, I called for help. Two local farmers…however, how do you keep cow-cred with a situation that you know fine rightly what needs done but don’t want to go anywhere near one of your own cows? My thought: stuff cow-cred! Breena, your future’s not bright, it’s burgers at this rate! Phone advice: leave her alone for a few hours…So, at lunch time along came Farmer Ian. A man who’s confidence had not been shot to pieces and has years of experience. And wee stories of similar situations help you feel less of a baffoon.

Seeing a calf get a good stomach full of feed helps to know all is well. Not witnessing this means you look for clues, but clues can be deceiving. Having someone to compare observations can help. Often with our cows you tread carefully but they let you help the calf on or you see it happening. No such luck with this one. We tried several options but she wouldn’t allow much and a near miss meant we figured we’d leave them for another few hours.

This evening, after the Mini Crofter was asleep I was back in the byre, a night in with the girls. Breena was not head butting gates although was still occasionally shaking her head at me, three other contented cows munching on hay, and a wee bull calf sleeping. If he had been sucking I oils have been sleeping easier tonight. But as it is, the Mini Crofter and I will be back out before breakfast to reassess the situation. Oh well. If only cows could communicate…


5 thoughts on “Wild thing!”

  1. Don’t worry about your cow-cred! This is one of the reasons I don’t think we will end up with cows no matter where we move. They are just so big and worry about what can happen if one disagrees with you. Glad that you are ok. I hope that calf is feeding and the mum-beast calms down soon.



    1. The more cows are use to you and handles, the better. Most of ours are fine for letting you guide a calf on. I have been making sure that all our calves are use to being handled so that they do not get stressed. Calving can make hormones go a bit swift, but in this instance, the farmer that came did show me a couple of tricks that will be helpful the next time. Most of the stress is just that I am on my own. If you know someone is around, it takes most of the fear (although I would always approach with caution but that is true of a lot of animals). If you are thinking about cows so find someone and have a close up look. They are worth it.


  2. If Breena has changed like her Mama did – she’ll be a beastie for a few hours post calving, then revert to a grass/hay eating machine. Hope she settles down soon.


    1. You’re right! She did settle back down. She hasn’t been that bad before although she may well have been but we haven’t needed to keep such a close eye. I seem to be good at getting fairly slow calves…I do remember coming home from work to find Eric (her calf with you from the year before) on the wrong side of the fence and her being very protective of Freya, the new calf.


      1. We found the bull calves were often slow – couldn’t find a teat for ages, some sucking on the brisket end or mouthing stupidly at all sorts of other bits, whilst the heifers were much quicker at having their first suck and then at bouncing around. Fairly sure I read/heard that bull calves tend to be a bit bigger & can take longer to come out – makes them slower to get going. Glad Breena has settled again and your wee bull calf looked great in the photos. Hope the rest of the calving goes well.


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