Sunday, June 8, 2014

Summer Time is Camp Time!

 Because I am so far behind on blogging, I have an older post to share now, and then in a bit, I will move it back where it belongs, back in June.  June 8th to be exact.

As you may recall, Weldon had discovered how to get out here and caused all kinds of chaos in the barn.  Well, it didn't stop there. That afternoon, he got out, but Boy was able to get him back into the field.  Then that night, Danny Dog started barking his fool head off, in a way that was VERY insistent. Luckily I was still up "Pinteresting" and enjoying the cool night air coming through the window. (It was about midnight)  CRASH...what was that...was that the Gas grill?!? The next day we discovered that his "playthings" included a gas grill (that Thank God didn't have a gas tank on it) my mother's day wishing well (that is now in approximately 9 pieces), and the corner of the red VAN, Yes there are horn marks and dents on the one corner.  Glad it was the red van and not the delivery van that we are still paying for!  Or the little car, he could have likely pushed it across the yard!

I threw on shorts, my boots and a headlamp and ran downstairs and out towards the workshop...A very scary pair of red-reflecting eyes and horns greeted me.  He wasn't really mean, just playful.  And a playful bull (with horns) doesn't make the best playmate!  I turned and ran for the house, in the meantime, Man had gotten dressed and came out in time to see me run through the gate with Weldon on my heels.  I ran through the other gate and towards the barn.  Seriously, if you see me running, you should run too! Cause I only run when being chased!  But that night, at midnight, in the dark, I think I may have had fast time to the barn than most track runners.  Man cam up behind, we had discovered that Weldon doesn't like being sprayed with the hose, so he grabbed the hose and we managed to get him back into the pasture.  Now the little Houdini had somehow gotten out of the lock pasture 4 times at this point, and the barn, so I grabbed his pasture rope and we tied him to the post for the night.

I went in and emailed our friends that run beef cattle.  This is the same family that saved my behind when I walked Bess home.  I'm sure my 1 am email after being chased by my bull was a asked them to help me get Weldon to "Freezer Camp" early, if I could get him an spot. The next morning, I got an email back telling me to call...well, I felt kinda like an idiot for panicking.  I called the meat processor and they couldn't get him in until the end of the month appointment I had.  By this time we had gotten Weldon locked into the box stall, and I thought maybe we could keep him there for the month and then take him on on scheduled day.  But he was pacing and BELLOWING in a way he never had before.  You would think that Hershey had gone into heat or something, (She was definitely pregnant-like 7 months!)

Weldon sharing his last meal with a very brave chicken!
I called the processor, they couldn't get us in.  So I sent another email to our friends.  She said, You need to call D!

So finally I did call and explained that he was contained, agitated but contained.  D told me that he had called his friend, you know the owner of the meat processing place, and that we had an appointment for the following day (Sunday) to drop him off and then they would take care of business on Monday. He had told Hoffman (the processor) that this crazy bull was likely going to kill me)  D takes 30 ish steer/bull in per year to Hoffman's and I trust his opinion.  What?  Oh, I complain that we are out here and we don't have much community and are very isolated from friends to the pint that we feel very alone...this day proved that I do have "people"!!

The next day D came to load him up...

We used gates to make a chute to get him into the trailer, and D with his broom handle.

Heading down the road.

D "coaxing" him out of the trailer and onto the scale.

Our pretty boy weighted 689 pounds...not bad for a 14 month old that wasn't "finished out".

In his holding stall for the night...

And his new neighbor, and 1200 pound black Angus Bull that looked like he'd just as soon eat your face as look at you.
Weldon's response "Umm..moo?!?"

I only cried "a little bit".  
On a post on Facebook, I got a lot of "How can you eat something that you raised?"  
Well, honestly, it was hard to take him knowing that it was the end.  However, I know what his life was like.  He was loved and petted.  He was played with and had toys.  He ate well and had pastures to play in.  
He didn't live on a feedlot, grazing in a bunch of other cows poo.  He wasn't a "Number".

He was loved.  

And I don't take his "sacrifice" lightly.
But, ultimately, that's what being a farmer is all about.
And I'm only crying "a little bit" as I write this....


Niki said...

You are a true farmer and i am proud of you.

Elizabeth K said...

:) nice post. Weldon was a loved calf!