Friday, September 30, 2022

I almost made a big mistake

Tuesday a fellow who owns the nearest dairy texted me asking if I was in the market for a Holstein bull calf or two.  I asked him the price, and he said this week only, he'd take $100 apiece. 

When we butchered our last two bobby calves, I swore off cattle forever.  It's costly, by the time you raise them and feed them, but I like cows so much it used to be worth it to me for the pleasure I got out of them.  So on hearing the bargain price he was asking, I decided to talk to my husband.  I was thinking maybe I'd just have them for pets, something to graze in the pasture again.  For two days I was mentally getting ready.  I talked to Cliff and he said if that's what I wanted to do, he'd do what he had to do.  

I called MFA to find out the price of milk replacer.  Wow!  Fifty bucks for a bag that would only last one calf for three weeks, and I was wanting two calves.  That's another $200 spent at least, and I prefer to bottle feed them longer than that.  We no longer have haying equipment, and most decent grass hay is $7 for a small bale.  Winter is coming:  Would I enjoy mixing the milk replacer with warm water morning and evening and going out in the cold to feed the babies?  What about keeping them in drinking water after they're weaned?  

I finally realized I wanted the calves, but I didn't want to do all that work and worrying again.  It would make a lot of work for Cliff to mess with, too: going after hay somewhere, putting it up in the barn, fixing a place for the calves while they're young.  And while they're on the bottle, we couldn't go anywhere and stay overnight.  The grandson could bottle-feed them for a day or two, but that wouldn't be much fun for him since he often leaves for work at 4 A.M.   Oh well, I had my day with milking Jersey cows and bottle-feeding calves.  It's time to let it go.

Yesterday morning when Gabe and I went walking, Blue-the-cat decided to follow us, as he sometimes does.  However, he made the decision to stay in the woods about halfway through our walk.  He's done this before, and usually is back at the house before the evening feeding time.  Once in awhile he fails to show up, and I go where I last saw him and call him out of the woods.  He wasn't here at suppertime, or even breakfast this morning.  While I do often have worries about him being eaten by coyotes, I was fairly sure he was back there someplace, so Gabe and I walked back to where we'd left him almost 24 hours earlier.  As we got near that place, I began calling, "Blue, kitty kitty kitty!"  It wasn't long before I heard him from across the canyon, meowing his loudest.  He was ready to be delivered.  Each time I'd call his name, he'd meow; soon we met him, coming our way.  When he's home, he meows at a whisper, but he knows when to get loud.  I picked him up and carried him for awhile, with him rubbing his head against my jawline, neck, and face and purring loudly.  Back at the house he ate ravenously, then looked through the window to let me know he wanted in the house.  I'm positive he knows the way home from back of the place; I think he just likes to make me worry.  

Who needs calves when you have a dog and a cat to spoil?

Now he's resting from his grueling time in the wild.



  1. I know how you feel Donna about your cat and dog keeping you entertained. My two cats give me such joy!

  2. Back in my youth, nearly everybody raised a calf or a couple hogs for a hobby and meat supply. But these days, even the big farmers are willing to drop off a steer or hog at the local butcher shop for the premium in price and so it is extremely easy for me to buy a 1/4 steer or 1/2 hog all year round. I don't know anyone that raises their own meat supply anymore.

  3. It's hard to give up our traditions but OK to put new ones in their place. Taking care of domestic animals is enough work! Blue has the look of love in his slow blink.

  4. You don’t need a calf…but I don’t need all these chickens either. Lol

    1. I'd love some chickens, and that would be much smarter than getting calves. But Cliff just never liked chickens, and really we don't have anything to use as a chicken house any more.

  5. One time our cat followed us to church (it was next door) and we went in the front door and left by the basement door. After several hours, when she didn't come home, we went up there and she was still sitting by the front door waiting for us. I have not fond memories of going out several times a day to replace frozen water with hot water for the rabbits and the chickens. No thanks

  6. I thought I left a comment but it isn't here, so I'll try again. I have no fond memories of going out in the winter several times a day with hot water for the rabbits and the chickens. No thanks. Once our cat followed us to church (it was next door). We went in the front door but left by the basement door and several hours later she was still sitting there by the front door waiting for us.

  7. Blue was testing you.


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