auroch cattle 2 July 2014

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Modern cattle all descend from the ancient aurochs, domesticated on the Asian steppes as much as 10,000 years ago. Wow. They had huge horns as depicted in the cave drawings in Lascaux, France. And the DNA of these old beasts rests in the sweet faces of our black baldy heifers! I love to be in the pasture watching the transformation from kick-up-our-heels calves to more mature heifers nurturing their first calves that’ll be next year’s babies. There is so much life in the pasture, from the bright blooming cactus, to the pale wheat grass growing around the little pond, and all the birds and bugs, skunks and ground squirrels, and that badger we know is there but who rarely shows his face above ground. This number 11 heifer loves her cotton candy—okay it’s cotton cake, but I call it candy. Once they get a taste for these thick pellets, you can’t go in the pasture without being mobbed. When I checked water and mineral yesterday, she followed me all around, licking the back of my shirt and giving me that expectant look when I turned to see what she was up to. You can still see the baby in her face, even though I hope she is also carrying her first calf. It makes me wonder how those ancients went about domesticating the auroch. What was their version of cotton cake?

About Sally Gerard

I am a writer, runner, teacher, singer, guitar player, mom, lover, coffee drinker, hunter, antique tractor driver, horsewoman, sister, and lover of the outdoors. Did I mention that I love lighthouses?
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