Friday, October 14, 2011

Friday Fact- True Mad Cow Syndrome

Now Scientists will tell you that Mad Cow Disease comes from a disease of the nervous system in bovines, but I can tell you I know what Mad Cow Syndrome is.

Last night the hubby and I set out to vaccinate and ear tag a heifer calf born that morning. On the way across the field to tag that calf we discovered a newer addition to our herd. We tagged the heifer and set her and her mom out the gate into the larger pasture of cows and calves.

Hubby walked over to the newborn to see what the ear tag was on the cow and to determine the calf's gender. He walked u,p grabbed the calf by the tail and determined it was a bull calf. As the mom charged him, he caught a way too close glimpse of her ear tag. This my friends is Mad Cow Syndrome. There are some cows that the first 48 hours and sometimes until the day the calf is weaned don't like anything getting near their calf. This cow is one of those "motherly" bovines.

We managed to chase cow and wobbly calf into the corral, then the cow on into a smaller corral while we vaccinated,  banded, and ear tagged the calf. Hubby headed down the alleyway to the pasture the cow and calf  would be ushered into, to open the pasture gate and tossed over his shoulder. "Let her out when I'm about halfway down."

I waited, then opened the gate and sent Boots, the trusty Border Collie, in after the cow. The dog flashed out first with a snot snorting cow stomping behind her. Eventually the cow mellowed, sniffed her calf, noticed the gate to the alleyway open, and charged down the alleyway leaving the calf behind. I walked up behind the calf and tapped his backend moving him toward the alleyway. The calf stopped. I pushed, and he bawled. Before I could even register the implication of his plea, I heard snorting and looked up to find the cow pounding toward me, head lowered to catch her forehead in my chest.

Now, I've been down this road before with another Mad Cow Syndrome mother. That time she took me to the ground as my hubby pulled on her tail trying to distract her. With visions of my past Mad Cow ordeal, I backpedaled my feet as fast as I could, screeching, "Get! Get! Get!" My back hit the corner post of the corral and I panicked. Just as I braced to be hit, MavFreak, as we affectionately call our daughter's mini Aussie we are dog sitting, thought I was screeching because I saw a mouse and came running over all excited. That was enough to divert the cow's attention. I catapulted over the corral fence and stood there knees shaking watching the cow snort and charge the fence as hubby came strolling back toward the corral. "Was that you making a ruckus?"

I guess you've figured out my husband learned a little about Mad Momma Syndrome about then. ;)

10 comments:

Becky said...

This was a very interesting post. Glad you didn't get hurt. To me that is what I call Mad Cow Syndrome. Its not fun having a cow knock you down. As a teenager I had a cow pin me up against a barb wire fence. Definitely not a good feeling that is for sure. There are days that I miss being around the cows, but my parents got out of having cattle when I was a teenager.

gtyyup said...

Glad you're OK...you're hubby is just so nonchalant LOL! Nice pic of you and Buddy on the sidebar...how are you two getting along?

Paty Jager said...

Becky, With any animal you never know when they'll take offense to something you do, but with some momma cows, you just stay clear.

Hi Karen! Well, Bud and I have been doing pretty good when I ride. This past week I've been playing catch up and had so many trips to town that I haven't even been on him. I need to get out and work him more but I keep telling myself as soon as I get caught up I'll work him every day. I really need to get to Princeton where there are less distractions. When I ride he's been doing well. Listening and only an occasion hop and skip. ;)

Danita Cahill said...

So glad you weren't really hurt. Those mama cows can be downright mean!

Very funny post. I shared the link on Facebook!

www.cahillphotojournalism.wordpress.com

Paty Jager said...

Danita, Nothing bruised by my ego. Thanks for sharing my story with others.

D'Ann said...

Glad you're ok! Onery cows anyway. I've been lucky enough to never have been in this situation.

Paty Jager said...

D'Ann,
I guess we're just more hands on than most ranchers.

Genene Valleau said...

Since you're OK, I'll go ahead and chuckle. My mom had a "mad cow" come through the fence at her one time. No calf to protect; she was just ornery. Thanks for sharing. :)

Paty Jager said...

Yes, Genene, some cows are just plain ornery.

gtyyup said...

Yes, you do need to get back over here...the weather's been perfect...simply gorgeous fall days. But, they won't last forever!!!