Concharty Heritage Acres

A Home For Heritage Breeds Of All Kinds!

   Jan 04

A lot of bellowing going on…

Today, I had to move our calf, Ciara, out of one pasture and into another. She is either at, or past, breeding age. Being a first year heifer, we don’t want her to be bred this year, if she hasn’t been bred already. When she was born, Karen told me that I needed to “have my hands on her every day”, so that she wouldn’t be skittish for milking, as she got older. But, I didn’t listen. Other things that needed to be done and got in the way, and I didn’t get to spend the time with her that I should have, and needed to.

So, it quickly became apparent that she was fearful of me, and I couldn’t get closer than a few feet, before she would run away.

For the past few months, I’ve been making amends and trying to get closer to her. I’ve been feeding her by hand and in a separate paddock, so that she’ll be less wary of me. I’ll even lay down on the ground, in front of her, while she feeds. Every now and then, I would touch her on the nose and I gradually worked up to her neck, and then her back. She’s still very wary, but I can walk up to her without watching her run away. She’ll even lead a little  on the promise of food.

Last night, I finally got her to go with me into another pasture, and then I locked her in with our Brown Swiss Ellie and her heifer, Dison.

But then, Cedar (our bull) decided that he missed her and walked through a polywire fence to visit. Cedar is a very gentle bull and I can lead him around by grabbing his horn. Love makes him very obstinate, though. So, when I led him back to the other pasture, he rushed right through the electric fence, and back to where he can see her. I wish that we could put Ciara in an area where she can still be close to her mother, Leila. But, it’s just not possible to do that AND insure that Cedar won’t break through a fence to get to her.

So, tonite I can hear Ciara bellowing for her mother, Leila bellowing for her calf and Cedar bellowing for Ciara. I only hope that things settle down in a day or two. I really hate that she has to go through this. But, her weaning is well past due.

UPDATE: I think we’ve found a solution to the problem. Today, I led Ellie into the pasture with Cedar (he’s very happy), Fynn (she’s not very happy) and Leila (who could care less, as long as they know she’s in charge). Ciara and Dison (who is just 6 days older than Ciara, and needed to be weaned, as well) have each other for company. So far, Cedar has stayed in his paddock. But, now Dison is bellowing, too.

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One Comment

  1. admin says:

    11 days later, and at some point along the timeline, the bellowing has stopped! I guess the silence just kind of threw me off a little, and I hadn’t noticed. So, excuse me while I take a moment to just soak in the quiet.

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