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Ready, Reado and Double

Posted by Mike on May 30th, 2006

Friday started out with the job to move the herd to a new pasture. Everything seemed to go well. We were able to round up the cattle and get them to the lush grass. Cows and calves were counted as they went through the gate.  Trouble was, one calf was missing. It was one of the twins.  This is not the first time we had trouble with them.

Ready and Reado were born about a week earlier. I think that cows can’t count very well. Their mama (we call her Double) seemed to only recognize one at a time, although she accepted them both.  She is a strong cow with a good udder and able to nurse twins. Reado was the one who missed out, as Double walked off with Ready. Reado called for Double, but Double didn’t come as she already had her calf! It was now our job to get them all together. First, we caught Reado and brought him up to the corral and gave him some milk. He seemed to be a strong calf.  Then, we brought up Double and Ready to the corral for a couple days of bonding.  This worked out well and we let them loose.

The day of the move found Ready napping when the herd left.  It took us a couple hours to find him, as he was well-hidden. We thought that we could get him to walk to the new pasture, but a calf doesn’t understand such things. His instinct is to flee. He got around us and ran back toward the west fence, slipped through and was on the road.  Once again, we were trying to get him to walk to the new pasture.  Exhausted, we only got him halfway back before he got away again.

I should tell you that this particular pasture is about 100 acres with a lot of trees and ravines. It is rough territory to catch a calf. There are many ways a calf can get away and most of these ways wear out people. When Ready got away the second time, we decided to head back to the house and take a break.

A few hours later, three of us went back out in search of Ready. It took us about an hour to find him and this time we didn’t try to herd him.  Our strategy was to capture him. Ready was found in a ravine and the chase was on. Somehow we managed to keep him in the ravine, running up and down the sides, trying to get away from us.  After a couple near misses, I was able to catch him and wrestle him down. From here, we got him tied up and on a sled. We pulled him up and loaded him in the truck.  It’s back to the corral for Ready. He was tired and thirsty.

We gave him two quick bottles, which he eagerly drank down. He then looked at us in the strangest way. Somehow, he was trying to reconcile us chasing and catching him with the kindness of the milk.

It was back into the truck for Ready as we took him out to find Double and Reado. We located Double in the pasture and she started bellowing for her calf. Ready answered as we got him out of the truck. He went right over to his mama and started nursing! Reado came up too and now both calves were with their mama. It was a great feeling!

We drove off to head home after a long, exhausting day. Watching as we drove away, we could see Double, Ready, and Reado together as the sun set.

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