Monday, February 03, 2014

George goes to the butcher shop

I never got attached to George at all, knowing his fate was either our freezer or a trip to the auction sale where some big buyer would buy him as a cutter/canner for a cheap price.  Dairy animals just aren't worth a lot of money.  I did an entry a few days ago telling about how we got hooked up with our buyer.  She scheduled an appointment at the butcher shop down the road, and we agreed to deliver him there.  We had the choice of taking him today, or very early tomorrow, because they will butcher tomorrow morning.  
Well, with the weather forecast we're hearing, we figured we'd better go today, because there's supposed to be snow tomorrow.  The Weather Channel says 3-5 inches.  Channel 5 says 6-10 inches.  Channel 9 says 8 inches.  
You get the picture.  
Cliff worried and stewed about how difficult it might be to deliver the steer to the butcher:  "How will we get him in the barn?"  How will we get him to step up in the trailer?"  "I wonder if my pickup will even get out of the driveway?"  
I more or less told him to let me take care of the first two questions, and suggested that if the pickup couldn't handle the job, he could hitch the trailer to a tractor.  After all, it's less than a mile there.  

Because George is not a pet, I knew I couldn't just call him and expect him to walk into the barn; but we've been feeding the cows a little corn every day, so he knows what you're doing when you pour some corn into a rubber pan.  I opened the back door to the milking section of my barn, latched it open, put a pan about three feet inside the door, and with George watching, put corn in it.  Then I went to tend my chickens.  A few times he would start in and then back up out of there, but within ten minutes he disappeared inside the barn to eat.  I didn't attempt to shut him in at that time.  I knew, now that he had been inside the barn and let back out, that he would be happy to re-enter at the first chance.  I shooed him out, shut the door, and we left on some errands.  

After we got home and ate dinner, Cliff backed the trailer up to the barn, put a panel inside so George would be funneled right into the trailer once I prodded him, and I followed my plan, placing the pan much farther inside the barn this time.  It was flawless, and when he saw me behind him with the prod, he jumped right into the trailer, which by the way was now hitched to the tractor because Cliff couldn't even get the truck ten feet away from the garage.  
This is why I am known around here as the cow whisperer. 

It's been nice, Georgie boy
approaching the butcher shop

"Where am I?  Where are my friends?"
The guy said the outside scales don't work when it's cold, but that they will give us his live weight tomorrow.


Remember back when I was so happy to have seven head of cattle?  Yeah, now I only have three heifers:  Penny, Crystal, and Gracie, who doesn't even seem to miss the brother she was raised with.


Margaret said...

You are a great creative problem solver. I would be terrible at it!! Goodbye to George!

ingasmile said...

Good life with one bad day! We could all only be so lucky?



Guess it was George's time. You handled the situation well. Got him where he needed to be. Clever, indeed.