Call Me the Wrangler


I do not want to have a milk cow with horns. Having read many of your comments, I know I’m not alone in this concern. A milk cow is handled quite closely. There is no more intimate relationship with a cow than the one you have with a milk cow. It’s important to feel safe around them. They are BIG.

Once I was talked out of trying the dehorning paste, the next step was to call our friends Pete and Missy. I know they have a disbudding iron. Missy came over yesterday with the iron. We got Glory Bee into the head lock on the milk stand, which turned out to be useless as she is too small for it to work. Oh well. We stayed in that spot anyway. (Since I’d already dragged–encouraged–Glory Bee there.)

Missy took her head. 52 took the iron. I straddled Glory Bee. We thought about riding into the sunset, me and Glory Bee. We’d go crazy. We’d have no money. Nothing. We’d go wherever we wanted. See the world, collecting stamps on our passports. We’d visit cows in other countries! Until she’d remember that mommy was back in the holler and then we’d have to go home so there was really no point.

Once I got on top of her, she sat down. She sat kinda sideways, so she sat on my leg. Since she weighs approximately 10,000 pounds, my leg was stuck for a few minutes. That was fun.

(There are no photos of all this activity because all the people involved were involved in the activity.)

But in the end–

She was disbudded.

This, by the way, smells really bad. (The burning smell.) And yes, you feel bad when you’re doing anything like this with animals. You put your farmer hat on and do what needs done. I was surprised that she didn’t start bawling. She didn’t make a sound.

I got her some mommy time right quick.

And that made it all better.

I figure this is going to be a temporary setback in our relationship. And we were just starting to become friends!

And this is kind of weird, but– I liked sitting on a calf. I felt very farmerish. Or rancherish. Like I was wrangling. I think–

I think I want to be a cowboy now!

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Posted by Suzanne McMinn on November 1, 2010  

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29 Responses | RSS feed for comments on this post

  1. 11-1

    Well, maybe you have had a setback on the being friends part of your relationship with Glory Bee, but you took another step forward in the “Who’s the Boss” part of it. Both aspects are important, so it’s all good. :cowsleep:

  2. 11-1

    Susanne, you may have a farm, but even a city gal knows that what you have could never pass for a ranch! Ranch land is flat land of which you have precious little. Glad you got the debudding/disbudding done, though.

  3. 11-1

    Looking from here, the disbudding seems a bit odd. Understandable, but odd. When my parents had milk cows all of them had their horns and all the cows our neighbours used to have had their horns left, as well. :cowsleep:

  4. 11-1

    I love reading your stories about Glory Bee. I almost feel like I know her personally.

  5. 11-1

    :? Sometimes a Farmer has to do what a Farmer has to do..Precious pic of Glory Bee with her mama!!

  6. 11-1

    Is this a prelude to the next adventure? Are you getting a horse? :reindeer:

  7. 11-1

    I loved the Don Quixote-esque part of your writing…..wandering the countryside aimlessly! I can see it now

  8. 11-1

    It’s good you got it done.I wouldn’t want a cow with horns either.Glory Bee will get over it.

  9. 11-1

    One slightly nasty sounding chore…DONE! Good for you taking the bull…uh…er…the calf by the horns. You will all be happier for it. Your words painted a really good picture!

  10. 11-1

    Poor baby, GB! But probably a good move in the long run for all. I hope she still loves you (or at least likes you a little…)

  11. 11-1

    When we had our milk goats, they were all disbudded. Nothing worse than getting into the groove of milking, only to have a horn rammed in your back :?

  12. 11-1

    Well done, Suzanne! My RogerCalf is keeping his horns because he will need them to keep his future yoke in place when he starts working as an ox. We do have a dairy friend who leaves horns on his Jerseys because that is how it was done on Jersey Island in the old days.Good deal for him since the Bordon dairy product folks contracted for one of his cows to go around to fairs as the current Elsie the Cow which is the company mascot.

  13. 11-1

    I’m happy this disbudding business is over, and Glory Bee doesn’t appear to be that traumatized. All in a day’s work. Suzanne you’re such a great farmer! :yes:

  14. 11-1

    Whew! That’s done. Hope they don’t come back.

  15. 11-1

    Those big brown eyes make me want a milk cow!

  16. 11-1

    I feel your pain, we just went through the process of disbudding 8 Nigerian baby goats, and while it is a quick but awful process.. we have goats with horns and without and even as gentle as our girls are they still catch us on their horns accidently at times, and the ones that have horns know how to use them on the ones that don’t…. We are also looking for homes and feel that it is much safer for families with children to have goats without horns and for 4-H’ers they must be disbudded.

    We have started shaving the area to be disbudded,and found it really cuts down on the odor and helps see clearly where to place the iron, we want it over and done with quickly as much as the little ones do!
    and thank you so much for the posting of your bad day and a half, I was wondering if I was the only one who at times finds this lifestyle kicking my behind….I wouldn’t trade it for anything tho!

  17. 11-1

    At least your nasties are finished….we have one more :moo: for our little Buddy Burger and I’m not looking forward to it. Can you guess? I think when it’s all said and done, Buddy (Chee) Burger is going to think I am an evil hearted farmer woman :devil2: ….little does he know. :cowsleep:

  18. 11-1

    That’s funny that you said you like sitting on a calf. :shimmy:

  19. 11-1

    Glad that you got it done. When you said that you sat on the calf, I had to laugh. My cousins talked me into riding a calf. I must of been about 7 or 8 at the time. WOW!! what a ride. I made it almost all the way across the cow pen, when the calf decided to go under the fence, on one side of the pen. Didn’t get hurt, but sure smelled with all the cow pies I slid through. I thought that I was a real cowboy. My aunt didn’t think so. Had to take a bath, and it wasn’t even saturday night. AW, life on the farm or ranch.Wish I was out in the country.

  20. 11-1

    Hopefully you are already forgiven!

  21. 11-1

    From now on when I have to do something hard, I’m gonna think “Put on your Farmer Hat,” should make me smile a little!

  22. 11-2

    I think you made the right decision. I had a long-ago relative who was killed when her milk cow accidentally gored her in the stomach. I also had an uncle who was killed by a bull. (The bull meant it, though.) Think I’ll be staying away from bovines with horns! I grew up next to a dairy, and when I was little, I just hated having to wade through a herd of GIANT Holsteins. If I had a cow, it would probably be a mini Jersey or a mini Zebu, polled of course!

  23. 11-2

    Suzanne, I also have done quite a few debudding jobs with the help of others. What a chore. My girls are happy and well adjusted and Glory Bee will be also. She is such a cutie! My hosteins love when I put on rubber gloves with the nubbies on them and the cloth inside. I give full body massages with them and they put their necks around me and lick me saying I love U too. Try it you will like it and so will all your critters. Girl you are doing so good.

  24. 11-2

    Life on the farm has these little nasties that must be done! Good job.

    When we brought calves in from the back 40, it was always me riding in the back of the truck with the calf which sometimes meant laying over them or almost sitting on them (no weight involved) to hold them in.

    I always straddled the three- day old babies to train them to the bottle….calf wrangling I called it.

  25. 11-2

    Is that all it took was to man handle her? Did she throw her head or squirm any? Just curious in case there is a calf down the road at my place.

  26. 11-2

    Barbara, she really wasn’t hard to handle. I was amazed.

  27. 11-5

    I didn’t know that girl calves could grow horns! Clearly I have a lot to learn. I really want to have some land with room for chickens, a dairy cow and some donkeys.

  28. 11-9

    Poor little girl! Necessary, though. Doesn’t sound like she minded much. She’s so cute!

  29. 1-8

    Just wondering if this worked? Hope you’re doing well!

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