Cows aren’t good at reversing
Forget Dr Google, we only search for farming tips. The Lovely Deputy laboured over the internet for how to build a cattle race. He came and went from Bunnings more than usual. Poured cement. Returned to Bunnings. When I realised what he was up to I called out the backdoor ‘do you want a hand?’ It seemed easier if I helped hold the fence rails while he screwed them into place rather than his death-defying balancing act.
A new paddock and race built, Rosie gave the new fence a suspicious once over. I spent the next couple of weeks wooing the cows into the
farewell top paddock with treats. The day of the second attempt to get Rosie on Farmer Paul’s trailer arrived. This Girl was beside herself with nerves. I’d been walking the aisles of the supe planning my animal whispering strategy to arrive home to find The Lovely Deputy was all over it. Rosie was ‘secure’ in the top paddock, Lil Belts beside her. She was sporting a crazed look however, as she checked the perimeter for jumping points. Skater Boy and I positioned ourselves on the other side of the fence to deter potential escapee moves.
I’ve got to hand it to that Lovely Deputy, those weeks of research and construction, he knew what he was doing. With some minimal encouragement from the sidelines when Rosie tried to clumsily reverse down the race, ‘Smack her on the arse baby she’strying to get out!’ he got that lumbering beast on to that trailer. Now on R&R down the road, I drive slowly past the property for a distant glimpse of her white belly in their top paddock.
Alone with others
This Girl is not the only one who misses Rosie. Lil Belts started bellowing for mum as the trailer pulled up the driveway and didn’t stop for days. She also ran from paddock to paddock trying to find a way to get to her. It was disturbing.
She’s now seen in the company of sheep and her nemesis, Webster the goat. It’s a love hate relationship. Cows are social animals and while Rosie is hanging with her new crew, Lil Belts is moping around the property looking forlorn and comfort eating bread treats.
“I am This Girl. Mother of Goats.”
Does that sound like a tagline for an HBO series? Not so much?
On sad news, Lilliana died suddenly about a week after giving birth to Star and Left Leg. Nothing like digging a grave and hand-rearing kids to knock farm life into you. It’s all food and sex and birth and death.
Making up milk formula and bottle feeding is what we now, and before 6 am on weekdays. They are growing and greedy and just as they would an udder, they smack the bottle with their heads to bring the milk down. A little overkill given we’ve increased the size of holes in the teats. Their heads get covered in milk and they haven’t worked out yet that when it’s empty, there ain’t no more.
Bottles, microwave, they know the feeding regime. They standup, tails wag and they have a ‘where have you been, we’re starving?’ bleat like there’s no tomorrow. The constant feeding demands mean they’re living on our patio in a play pen but when we’re at home they have free range of the house garden. As I go about my business, hanging out washing, getting things from the upstairs freezer, going to see the Lovely Deputy in the garden, they follow me around, jumping and playing.
When they’re hungry they mistake my legs for giant udders. Hooray! And head-butt me for milk. When that doesn’t work, they run between my legs dragging their stumpy little horns against my skin. Ouch! Then there’s goat practice on the stairs and windowsill and general goat exploration. Out of sad circumstances, it is an absolute delight to care for them. Baby animoolz are the best.
Last Chance Wheezer
The rooster has a new name. After successful months confined to orchard roaming he had an opening and used it, jumping the fence to canoodle with the neighbourhood gals again.
The neighbour, who has been unwell and having suffered through Last Chance’s crowing all day, was pleased to see us return from work. We dispatched two roosters on the weekend. He’s going to be next if he doesn’t stick to the plan.