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Thread: The Cow Whisperer

  1. #1

    The Cow Whisperer

    Shearing Day was fast approaching, and I had a ton of work to do. The majority of it had been done, but I still had 14 sheep and a cow to organize before that could happen. To make things worse I had 7 acres of open pasture, two sets of sheep that refused to flock together, and a Holstein calf that thinks he is a border collie. Yep he likes to chase sheep, typically on a dead run too. For this reason the black faced sheep are scared of the white faced sheep and both black and white faced sheep are petrified of the cow. Oh my!

    The first move was to move the cow to its own pen because with him on pasture, the sheep would be frightened to death. No amount of grain would get him there so I resorted to more difficult methods. I grabbed him in a head lock and tried to force him in the pen. This he did not like and resisted quite well. 4 hooves on a 150 pound animal beat the traction of two feet on a 175 pound person most days, and today was sub-par to most days. After taking several face full’s of dirt/mud/manure I rethought my plan. Spying one of those new fangled steel and wood calf-persuasion tools…otherwise called a shovel... I chucked it at him. Now to my credit it was not my fault the cow did not move and thus took a hard thump to the head from it. But despite the prudent and swift use of this new calf-motivator, he seemed even more uncooperative and would not let me walk up to him anymore. This is a problem when you need to get a calf into a pen.

    Out of desperation I dug out my secret weapon…my wife! Now I did not use her picture to scare him into the pen. She has this strange ability to make livestock go where she wants them too. I do not know what it is about her, and while she generally dislikes farm life, she will come out of farm-life-reluctance and help on occasion. Today it was worth listening to the “what kind of farmer are you” speech and so she came out clad in Berkenstocks without a care in the world.

    I have no idea what kind of sassy sweet-nothings she whispered into his ear, but low and behold, he pranced right into his pen within 2 minutes of being rubbed along the neck, stroked onto his back and of course sucking on the wife’s fingers. (Its overrated in my opinion). She looks up at me and says, “Just call me the cow whisperer.”

    Yeah whatever…just luck that’s all and anyway there is the sheep to fetch.

    Yep same thing. She walks right up to them in the middle of this pasture no less, whispers sweet nothings, uses her most seductive and sweet bedroom voice (which I am oh so jealous of) and off they go, two flocks of separate sheep that prance right into their allotted pens without a care in the world. I tell ya…I was amazed even if I now have to endure the occasional “Just call me the Cow Whisperer” line!

    But I have come to terms with my inability to handle livestock. I realize that I need to amend my livestock handling procedures if I want them to do what I want…so yesterday I went out and bought a bigger shovel!
    I have no intention of traveling from birth to the grave in a manicured and well preserved body; but rather I will skid in sideways, totally beat up, completely worn out, utterly exhausted and jump off my tractor and loudly yell, "Wow, this is what it took to feed a nation!"

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    SouthWest GA
    Posts
    88
    Well, Travis females are females and they do stick together. If your bigger shovel does not work get the type shovel that is on a back-hoe. Just scoop them up and set them where you want them.
    Last edited by Mark Wingate; 05-14-2009 at 01:00 PM.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Tellico Plains, Tennessee
    Posts
    4,352
    Travis,
    My father was a farmer for years... as a young man he was a share cropper and did most of his farming with mules. Because he was a share cropper, he rarely owned his own mules, but would take a neighbor's young raw unbroken mules and teach them to work the farm, pulling the plows, wagons, etc... Dad's method was often kinda harsh, but if one method didn't work, his option was usually to get a bigger stick, or hammer, or shovel. But by the season's end, when he spoke, the mules listened.
    Chuck
    Tellico Plains, TN
    https://www.etsy.com/shop/TellicoTurnings
    My parents taught me to respect my elders, but it's getting harder and harder to find any.
    If you go looking for trouble, it will usually find you.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    GTA Ontario Canada
    Posts
    12,258
    Great story Travis, some pics would have added to the . This is better than television because we just imagine that cow staring at you after the shovel and your wife gently persuading the cow with the cow looking back at you with the big eyes saying see be more gentle and i will do anything.
    cheers

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    North West Indiana
    Posts
    6,099
    Chuck, that is the way my dad raised my brother, sisters and me!!!
    Jon

    God and family, the rest is icing on the cake. I'm so far behind, I think I'm in first place!

    Host of the 2015 FAMILY WOODWORKING GATHERING

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    St. Louis, MO
    Posts
    583
    Travis,
    Better start looking for a farmer's self help, group therapy, "respect your animals - they'll respect you", feel-the-love webinar or something of the sort.
    So, is your wife the "Travis Whisperer" too?
    paulh

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by Paul Hubbman View Post
    Travis,
    Better start looking for a farmer's self help, group therapy, "respect your animals - they'll respect you", feel-the-love webinar or something of the sort.
    So, is your wife the "Travis Whisperer" too?
    paulh
    She is if I ever want any...
    >
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    Money. Why? What did you think I was going to say? Now that I have been forced into full-time farming and am a Professional Manny (Man-Nanny) I am on her short leash unfortunately!
    I have no intention of traveling from birth to the grave in a manicured and well preserved body; but rather I will skid in sideways, totally beat up, completely worn out, utterly exhausted and jump off my tractor and loudly yell, "Wow, this is what it took to feed a nation!"

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by Rob Keeble View Post
    Great story Travis, some pics would have added to the . This is better than television because we just imagine that cow staring at you after the shovel and your wife gently persuading the cow with the cow looking back at you with the big eyes saying see be more gentle and i will do anything.
    Oh yeah, he is a menacing creature for sure.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails 0003 Small.JPG  
    I have no intention of traveling from birth to the grave in a manicured and well preserved body; but rather I will skid in sideways, totally beat up, completely worn out, utterly exhausted and jump off my tractor and loudly yell, "Wow, this is what it took to feed a nation!"

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