Search This Blog

Follow by Email

Monday, March 1, 2010

A Bull with no name

After watching the cows for about six months and coming to the conclusion that we were not very good at determining when they were in heat, we decided to place an order for a bull. Surely he would know when our cows are in season.
Within a few weeks we got a call. “I got you a bull,” the drover said. It was a nice, medium-sized Angus. But it was red.
I like red. But the Farmer wanted a black Angus. Apparently they get more at auction. They consistently get a higher price than the other breeds. And he just likes the look of black. So we passed on red and waited for black.
A month later, we got another call. The drover had our bull. He is just 18 months old, about a thousand pounds, and he’s black as pitch. The Farmer was home sick anyway, so he spent the morning shoring up the old turkey pen as the bull’s new living quarters.
“Why the turkey pen?” I asked, doubtful.
“It’s got those strong beams,” the Farmer answered. I worried that the bull might jump over the cross beam, and I was pretty sure he wouldn’t crawl under it. How do you get a big bull to duck?
When I got home from work, I asked the Farmer how our new addition was doing.
“Well, he’s just a little guy. We put a rope around his neck and he just walked off the truck, He’s in the pen. Went in easy enough.”
I wanted to see him, so I quickly changed into my barn clothes and out we went.
Before heading to the barn, we filled up the horses’ feeders and slid the stable door open. No horses. The Farmer called them a few times, and then we heard a rustling in the corner of the barnyard, near the chick coop. “There you are. Come on, girls.”
That’s weird, I thought. They are usually standing at the door at dusk, pushing on it to get in. Inside the barn, the sheep were huddled in the corner, looking concerned.
“What’s up, guys? Did you hear a big ruckus today?” We continued on to the back of the barn, and let ourselves through the door to the bull pen. It was empty.
“Well, *&#!” the Farmer cursed. “He must have jumped the beam. Dennis did say this one hates to be alone…”
We shone our flashlights on the snow, following the hoofprints. That little bull had followed the fence line around the barn, seen the other animals at the hay bales and jumped the fence to join them. We went back through the barn and stepped out into the dark barnyard.
“There he is,” the Farmer shone his light on a dark shape near the chicken coop. Mocha, our 2-year-old red cow, stepped out of the shadows. Beside her stood our bull. He is bigger than our 8-month-old Julie, but not by much. And he seems to have a thing for older women, because he is following Mocha around, nose-to-tail.
“Well, we could leave him out. I was going to keep him in a while though, until he settles. We could put him back in the pen with a sheep or two, so he doesn’t get lonely.”
I watched as our bull followed Mocha and Julie across the yard to the hay feeders. Big Betty confronted the little bull, blocking his way to the hay. She would help him build a competitive spirit. “He isn’t lonely now. Looks pretty settled in to me,” I said.
And so our little herd grew by one.
We will have to watch the bull to see what personality emerges. Will he be a flower-sniffing Ferdinand, or an aggressive Toro? I have a name in mind, but would love to hear your suggestions. If you would like to help us name our new bull, email your ideas to:


Robert W. Chitty said...

A visual of the bull would be really cool...

監控 said...


Diana Leeson Fisher said...

I'll see if I can get him to pose for the camera...