|Newborns look so innocent|
It’s hugely entertaining to watch calves go from wobbly newborns to curious youngsters through the summer. During that time, they’re grazing, nursing, and learning to eat the little bit of feed we give them through those normally green months. They’re also gaining some independence, forming cliques, and venturing away from the herd to graze with their ‘friends’. By the time autumn rolls around, the calves are about six months old and it’s time to stop them from nursing so their mothers can put on weight for the winter and get ready to deliver the next batch of calves.
|Unhappy bull calf...|
Thankfully, our nearest neighbors are about a quarter of a mile away, so it’s only us who lose sleep for these few days. Ear plugs are some help, but it’s amazing how much noise one six month old calf can make, much less a whole herd of them. We’ll give them six weeks to put on some weight, then it’s off to the sale barn they go, to repay some of the investment we’ve made in them and the ranch.
So right now, weaning is what I know. Will I be able to work the experience into a
story? I think so. Whether it’s a neighbor who goes nuts over the noise, a rustler who takes advantage of the chaos to steal some cows, or a calf stampede, yes, I’ll find a use for weaning. And given that I write crime novels, a fictional someone will probably die in the process. Time to find a victim…
photo credit: quinn.anya via photopin cc