Cattle make life interesting at times. I love to watch them as new-born calves, just standing up for the first time to discovering their legs can really propel them only twenty-four hours later! The deep sound of their mama lowing to them resonates in my bones. Then, turning our heifer calves out in the pasture and they still have that “kick-up-your-heels” attitude that just seems to take over at random times, to the complete contentment when they are bedded down and chewing their cud.
Gentling them to get used to our company, we slowly gain their trust to where they will eat cotton candy out of our hands. Yes, I call the cotton cake pellets “cotton candy” because they love it like I love me some blue cotton candy! Over the summer, they go from startling at our presence to following us around and licking our pants wondering where their treats are.
Over the summer, they’ve been bred and now what I like to call, “baby mammas” because they still have that calf-like quality of playfulness, even though they’ll have their first calves starting in March. Still, you always have to stay on your toes, because like all animals, they can be unpredictable at times. Working with cattle has to be an exercise in patience, because the more worked up you get, the more worked up they get and then, the working can get somewhat dicey.
Now most of our heifers are safely delivered to the sale barn where they will find good homes on ranches to spend the cow stage of their lives in peaceful bliss, feeding on long pasture grasses as they graze in the sun. I wonder if any of their new owners will give them some “cotton candy.”