Tuesday, 17 February 2015

Some Tales About Some Of The Livestock Characters Who Have Lived On Our Smallholding. Part One.

Did I tell you about "Bar Room Brawler" the Aberdeen Angus bull calf?  He was a character.  A local farmer delivered him in his little calf box one spring morning.  

Instead of holding his tail and head and walking him to the cowshed. I decided to pick him and carry him (like you do) to the cowshed.  The bull calf was not impressed and duly headbutted me in my face.  A 'Glasgow kiss' from a bull calf!  So we christened him: "Bar room brawler."  I only had a bit of face bruising but he didn't knock any sense into me.

He turned out to be a fine bullock and he wasn't that bad a lad really.  Well except from always escaping from (wait for it) UNDER the fences.  Yes BRB had a knack of getting down on his knees and tunneling his way under the sheep/barbed wire.  

He wouldn't go away from the other cattle though.  He would just stand in the middle of the boreen eating the grass growing up the middle of the roads.  So we would have to run up and down the field, climb over the ("ouch") barbed wire to block him off at both ends of the boreen, open the field gate and lead him back  into to the field, fix the fence and wait for his next escape.  Perhaps we should have called him:  

"Houdini"?

8 comments:

  1. Brilliant, I love that animals just do stuff for the fun of it too. A few years ago we had a field full of bullocks across the road from our house. They used to connect heads and push each other left to right and back again by our bedroom window, it always made me laugh :)
    Twiggy

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    1. Hi Twiggy.

      I looked in our blue book the other week that lists all the cattle we have kept on the farm in the last fourteen years. There are over 100 of them. Each one had their own personality or lacked one, somewhere sweethearts and some belonged to the devil. Bullocks can be rather silly can't they? But even heifers can act like a bunch of giggling school girls especially when the first go out to grass and they start jumping about doing the 'cows disco'. Thanks!

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  2. Now I thought it bad getting pecked up the knackers by a goose... But head butted by a bull takes the buiscuit

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    1. Gosh John I wouldn't liked to be pecked by a goose. I believe they can be more ferocious than guard dogs. BRB (Aberdeen. His Christian name) was only a month old when he put me in my place. I once cracked my ribs on the tubes on the cattle crush when we were helping clamp a bull to make him into a bullock. He kicked my legs off the crush and I cracked my ribs on the metal bars. When I went to bed that night and placed a sheet over my ribs I started shouting naughty words with Anglo Saxon derivations. Thanks!

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  3. We once hand reared a pure bred ram lamb, we called him Rambo, he was so cute... until he grew up, he was determined to live up to his names sake and would charge anything that walked on two legs, we sold him to a farmer who knew how to put manners on him! Moral of the story, never hand rear a ram lamb.

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    1. Yes Anne. I can imagine Rambo took no prisoners. I knew some one got his front teeth knocked out by a ram. We once kept ten wethers and they gave us the run around. They ate a full barn of loose hay, lots of bags of sheep nuts and there wasn't one field that was stock-proof to keep them in. I use to be always freeing them from brambles and briers. I think we made ten Euros per head more than we paid for them, after keeping them for six months. A sheep farmer I know told us we had done well. Never again! Thanks Anne.

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    2. We made money from them alright as we were certified organic plus we bred our own lambs, we found them cheap to raise as they were out all year with some hay and a little straight grain feed, they put on weight just fine. I think if you have to buy nuts for farm animals you will always be hard pressed to make a decent profit. We found the biggest problem was brambling, we were pretty well stock proof so that was never a problem.

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    3. We didn't have stockporoof sheep wire fencing Anne. Ours was just posts and barbed wire and hedges for cattle on most of our fields. Livestock do cost a lot of money to over winter in terms of making or buying in hay and silage and beef nuts. Some smallholders don't even get any single farm payment. So they must find it really difficult to make any money. It must be even harder for tenant farmers who rent land and keep livestock.

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