Sunday, March 17, 2013

If it weren't for my parents, I'd be an idiot

Recently one of my Facebook friends referred one of her friends to me for advice:  The person needing advice has owned one cow and one bull since last August and wanted to know how to tell if the cow was pregnant.  The more I discussed things with her, the more I realized this person had no cow knowledge at all and had evidently not even done any research on the Internet or in books.  The animals were Dexters, a miniature breed which is practically worthless at the sale barn.  The black steer in the above picture is a Dexter I bought to keep that heifer company. 
I asked her if she had witnessed the bull breeding the cow.  She had not.  I explained to her that the cow would come in heat every three weeks if she wasn't bred.  I explained that she would know the cow was in heat because the bull would follow her like a shadow for about twenty-four hours, mounting her again and again and serving her as often as his strength would allow.  
She had seen no such hanky-panky.  I also told her she could call a vet and get the cow pregnancy checked; she wanted to know how much it would cost.  
By the time the discussion was over, I was wishing I had never gotten involved.  
As I was telling Cliff about this ignorant person (I think I used the word "idiot"), I realized that the only reason wasn't that stupid in the beginning is that I learned about cows from my parents.  

Cliff's youngest sister on Suzie.
We bought our first milk cow, Suzie, from them.  Mother and Daddy patiently explained heats and calving and artificial breeding.  Oh, and the tractor and trailer in the background?  We bought those from Daddy, really cheap.  
When Cliff and I were first married we moved to the country and I wanted chickens.  Again, Mother told me the basics, although I had picked up a lot of chicken knowledge from her as a child.  By the time I was twelve, I knew how to break up a settin' hen and how (and where) to put a pinch of insecticide dust on the hen for lice and to put Vaseline on a hen's legs for whatever parasite it was that made their legs ugly and rough.  
Mother told me the basics of gardening and canning and preserving.  Daddy showed us all his gardening tricks.  
So I really have no right to look down my nose at ignorance.
If it hadn't been for my parents, I'd have been an idiot too.  


Margaret said...

She's not an idiot for not knowing all the information about cows, but she is a FOOL to get said animals without learning about them first. Good grief. Ignorance is no excuse. I feel sorry for her cow and bull.


I agree you should have some knowledge about animals you have before you acquire them. You are lucky you had all that handed down to you.