“DON’T go in the yard today when I’m out” John warned. “That cow with horns has just calved and she is lethal if you go anywhere near her.
“Caught me on the shoulder and if I hadn’t moved quickly she would have gored me.”
This particular cow needs watching most of the time. She is the only one with horns in the herd, and she knows it. The other cows are quite wary of her. She bullies her way into the silage clamp and the barley trough, knowing that the other cows will scatter in her path.
Each day John feeds one particular cow from a bucket with rolled barley and pellets. This cow is relatively undersized and gets pushed out by the other cows when any feed goodies are on offer. Now she knows to wait by the foldyard doors for John to come in with her treat. But so does Mrs Horned Cow too. She chooses her moment to push in for the bucket and it has got so that John closes the collecting yard gate behind him so that she cannot get through. But as soon as it is open she whips in and scavenges for any remaining grains.
The big problem John has at the moment is getting an ear tag into the new calf. The numbers on Mrs Horned Cow’s tags are quite faint, and John dare not get too close to her to read them. We have tried a few times to get her into the crush but she is not having that game at any cost. Being separated from her calf for even a few minutes drives her into a frenzy.
It really does come to something when to ensure we do not compromise our compliance with regulations it is necessary to risk a goring. It is just to be hoped that she might calm down a little by tomorrow.
John is out shooting today with friends. I have put the ducks away, closed up the hen house ( and its sadly depleted number of occupants), fed and walked the dogs and checked on the sheep. I’m leaving the cows well alone until John gets back later on.
But I have done our traveller neighbours a good turn tonight. Their horses and ponies remain a risk to vehicles as they are frequently tethered with a sufficient length of chain for them to stray on to the road.
One of them, Charlie, had actually broke loose when I drove past and cars were having to brake hard to avoid him. Lurchers and terriers appeared out from nowhere under the vans when I drove up to let the main man know about the pony.
Mutely he climbed into the back of the Landrover and silently I drove him to find Charlie, who was calmly holding up any passing traffic. Without a word my passenger climbed out and took hold of the pony’s broken chain.
But I got a big thumbs up and a grin as I drove off.