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#1 2014-10-18 15:18:57

Blaithin
Moderator
From: Torrington, AB
Registered: 2011-12-19
Posts: 1143
Website

A Stella Story - To Bring Home Larrabee

I have this heifer.... She's a bottle calf from the feedlot. She was 8 months old before I got another calf so her bovine intellect is more attuned to human. This past summer she turned two and boy the stories she seems to create or get involved in! Between her and the other feedlot calves I have kicking around there could almost be a kids book written (If my foul language didn't play such a role in many of them! :hide: ) Here is an episode from last month - although technically this could be a Larrabee Story with a cameo by Stella, Moose and even Conn the dog. I wrote it the week it happened and I'm too lazy to go change the days around but pretend it's Sept 17th instead and everything will fit right in =)

Monday dawned bright and early as a day off. Now my absolute favourite thing about days off are that I can sleep in past my 5 o'clock alarm. Sadly on this Monday I had finally got Conn booked in for his nut cut - be at the vet by 8 :crying: While I didn't have to be out of the house by 6 it still wasn't an acceptable sleep in but alas, at 7:30 I loaded up the mutt and away we went.

Conn was an unsocialized chicken turd when I got him and while he's gotten to be amazing at home this was his first venture out into the world since coming here. The truck wasn't a good start... he was terrified and after a number of attempts to bury himself behind me and under my feet he settled on the back seat floor with his head under my seat. Amazingly enough once out of the truck and into the vet he was quite happy to visit with the lovely ladies there and stand nicely on the scale. He was doing quite well charming everyone and I asked if I could stay with him until he was sedated just to help him stay more chill so off we went into the exam room to wait for his needle. We entered the room and I took him to his offered blankie but on the way... well there goes 5 lbs off his weight in a steaming pile on the floor :sick: I quickly clean up the evidence but nothing can be done for the stench and soon the vet is back with the sedative and the wave carries itself out the door to the rest of the clinic. The wonderful receptionist is walking past and stops to ask us if we smell that funny scent but she only gets half the question out before she opens the door and the stark stench reality hits her in the face. The vet kindly hands her the offensive bag to dispose of and hopefully the malingering odour will follow it and leave us alone. The exam continues with a surprisingly calm 76 heart rate and not a peep during the sedative shot and soon I'm helping to lift him onto the table while he looks drunkenly around in confusion. Buh bye Conn, I will see you this afternoon!

When I get home I only have a short period of time before my Mom's due to arrive for a visit. I'm looking forward to this as I haven't seen her in a few weeks and there's a couple things that would be much easier to have help with.

Before she arrives I do manage to get Moose in for a shot. She got home from her sex camp vacation and promptly got foot rot. I figure a scrape on the trip home followed by three immediate days of snow, rain and cold mud all piled up to a smelly appendage. Luckily she was fairly cooperative and took her medicine and Blue Kote-ing well and seems much improved today so that's a bonus!

Now really the important thing I needed help with was Larrabee...

Larrabee is my 19 month old steer who's destined for the freezer. At the beginning of August MamaCoo went off to her version of sex camp which left Larrabee as the only bovine here in company with the horse. He had a couple mournful moos the first evening MamaCoo left but otherwise showed no anxiety. He carried on eating and hanging with the horse. Then one week later I came home from work to an empty feeling. I walked the property but there was no sign of Larrabee. He's been a known escape artist his entire life but this time he didn't even stick around. Luckily he's far from stealthy and left an obvious trail up a muddy lease road a quarter mile south near a neighbours herd. Maybe he's stealthier than I give him credit for though since my black, tag less steer decided to go into a herd of black tag less animals!! From the fence I could see four squat bulls following a cow and as they turned to wander away I counted. One nut, two nut, three nut... LARRABEE! He didn't care to listen.

Soooo fast forward to Monday when I once again have cows at home and someone to help so Mom and I drive over to the pasture where the cows are conveniently on the near fence line. We browse the blacks but they all look well... black. So we drive in and are greeted with curiosity but no Larrabee. As we drive there's one critter as far away from the gate as can be. I mention that of course this will be him and.. of course it is. We crest the hill to him and I get out with the tempting pail of beet pellets - it's a thankful moment to lose a pail bunter as he comes right up and starts munching away. And even better, there's a gate right here! So we head to the gate and it's going well - then we hit the half way wall and with three times the speed he goes the wrong direction. Typical. We follow him and soon find ourselves at the gate he came in at which he easily goes out of. SUCCESS! But can we get him across the field to the yard?

No... Way... Ever....

So while Mom does maniacal driving to stop the massive elephant dung heap of a steer from getting next to the fence and jumping back in the pasture I do an angry walk home. Should I saddle the horse? No that will just result in lots of running, not lots of control and probably no steer at home in the end. The other option is to halter Stella and hope for a cooperative miracle. She's happy to come meet me for a treat and haltering is a cinch as always but Stella's never been quite content enough to make it all the way to the house without massive amounts of encouragement and quite a few breaks.... So I have more beet pellets as Larrabee bait and to get Stella moving when she stalls out BUT SHE DOESN'T! In an amazing turn of fate she heels like a CKC show dog and follows me down the drive way, out the gate, across the road, through the field - oh we don't like that mud so lets go around it - and there's Larrabee! Stop for some beet pellets, turn around and lets go home! A quarter mile down, a quarter mile to go. Larrabee following like a puppy, Stella sometimes thinking she needs to turn around and stiff neckedly give him the hairy eyeball in challenge but nothing serious enough to stop our progress. Soon we're on the road and a well service pick up gets stuck behind this odd procession of me leading a midget cow followed by a meandering, fat steer followed by my mom in a truck. We pull into the drive way, shut the gate as a precaution and carry on to the pasture where Stella is released and Larrabee let in. He meets his new girlfriends and old girlfriends and lays down for a cud. Just in time to go get Conn.

Conn passed nut cut with flying colours and the ride home seemed more enjoyable as I rode with him in the back of the truck. Apparently the wind in your hair making ridiculous faces takes your mind off the terror. We get home and go for a nice stroll for an evening check on the herd. Larrabee is still chilling with his new Dexter honeys and him and Conn are buddies as ever. Everyone's happy and settles in for a snooze.

Tuesday dawned bright and early as a second day off. Conn is in great spirits, Stella thinks she needs more treats for her wonderful accomplishment yesterday, Larrabee?

Larrabee is gone without a trace. :tantrum:

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#2 2014-10-18 16:20:42

susanr
Moderator
From: Grenfell, Saskatchewan
Registered: 2010-03-11
Posts: 4819

Re: A Stella Story - To Bring Home Larrabee

Sorry for your cattle troubles.  It reads like some days around here.  The cows are NOT my favourite critters - they get into the dangest situations & cause more stress than anything else around here.  Sending :hugz: Larrabee is found safe & sound somewhere.


Friend to 1 house cat, 2 long-haired mini dachshunds, several outside cats, one guard dog, a few Dorking chickens, several  Isa Brown laying hens, some mutt chickens and 3 mules.  Jobs include gardener and assistant bee keeper.

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#3 2014-10-18 16:32:24

Blaithin
Moderator
From: Torrington, AB
Registered: 2011-12-19
Posts: 1143
Website

Re: A Stella Story - To Bring Home Larrabee

Oh I love my cows! They're my favourite by far, never a dull moment. You can sit on Stella, and scratch her udder and she stands on three legs, she's always there for a cuddle. This isn't about cow hating at all, except maybe for Larrabee being a pain in the butt LOL

He's happily back in with the herd he was with. We seem him frequently, even the other day when we took Stella for a date (That's a whole other story!). The herd's due to go home next week so then he'll have to come back here where he'll probably just become freezer fodder since he has no issue with fence crawling.

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#4 2014-10-18 17:40:40

Schipperkesue
Administrator
From: Carnwood, Alberta
Registered: 2010-04-08
Posts: 15557

Re: A Stella Story - To Bring Home Larrabee

Aargh!  I feel for you!  I had tales of my own livestock escaping last week.  Fortunately the two Shetland Rams that busted out decided to stick around as the girls were right next door.  I had to rip out a chunk of fence before I could lure them in with a pail of oats and spent the rest of the day fortifying the fence.

I find the hardest thing about collecting loose animals is staying calm.  I am not the most patient person in the world and my first reaction is to run and yell.  Not an effective strategy!


Embrace your mistakes....they are life's most meaningful education.

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#5 2014-10-18 19:22:42

susanr
Moderator
From: Grenfell, Saskatchewan
Registered: 2010-03-11
Posts: 4819

Re: A Stella Story - To Bring Home Larrabee

I have found that on occasion when the cows escape - they do not react well to calm & trying to organize them to move to where they should be.  If after trying to calmly move them, I lose my temper & the "wicked caretaker" comes out - they are much faster at  moving where they should be just in case they end up on someones plate.  LOL  Fortunately, that doesn't happen often.  I don't hate the cows but, I would much rather hang out with the chickens or the mules than the cows.


Friend to 1 house cat, 2 long-haired mini dachshunds, several outside cats, one guard dog, a few Dorking chickens, several  Isa Brown laying hens, some mutt chickens and 3 mules.  Jobs include gardener and assistant bee keeper.

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