Me Against the Baby


I got a calf halter! I was so excited. I’m going to put that on the baby and lead her around like we stepped out of Mary Had A Little Lamb. Won’t that be cute?

Only I’m notorious for my inability to figure out how to put on halters of any kind.

Just figuring out what goes where and in which direction is usually enough to make me let somebody else do it, but this time I was determined.

I headed out in search of BP.

Chickens are always following me. They never know what I might have in my pocket.

Plus, they like Beulah Petunia, too.

Chickens eating BP poo.

I told you!

There are all sorts of reasons to put a halter on a calf. For one thing, this is a future milk cow. I need her to be tame and friendly, and I need to be able to move her around if and when necessary. In general, you also want to be able to handle a calf as needed for vaccinations or other treatment. Glory Bee started out pretty friendly, and she will still frolic around me and come up to my hand, but she has grown skittish when I pet her. That’s to be expected of a mama-raised baby. It’s the same thing with lambs or baby goats. If they’re separated from their mothers and bottle-fed, they’re more friendly than if they’re left with their mothers. Getting a halter on Glory Bee, and using a lead on her at times, will make us able to handle her more and socialize her to our handling, which most importantly, in the end, will make her a tame milker.

The baby was busy.

I studied BP’s halter.

And I figured out how it goes on.

Now I just needed the baby!

I’m not telling you how much time I spent chasing this baby around the yard while she galloped like a colt and Beulah Petunia got more and more mad at me, saying, “Noooo,” instead of Moooo. And I said, “BUT I FIGURED OUT HOW THE HALTER GOES ON AND EVERYTHING!”

What it looks like when a cow gives you the Evil Eye.

Stay tuned for Round Two. I shall overcome! I’m not letting a baby cow beat me! Can you imagine??

Dateline: Stringtown, West Virginia.


A woman, reportedly beaten by a baby cow on a farm in the boonies, declined to comment on the incident that occurred late Tuesday. Officers arrived at the scene after chickens in the area filed a disturbance call. A goat identified only as ‘Clover’ stated to officers that the woman had been harassing the baby cow before the beating and that she was known for her inability to control animals. “It’s embarrassing, really,” Clover said. “But at least she makes good cookies.”

Officers attempted to question the woman about the reported harassment, but she fled the scene in chore boots. A calf halter was taken into evidence. The case remains under investigation.

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Posted by Suzanne McMinn on September 29, 2010  

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40 Responses | RSS feed for comments on this post

  1. 9-29

    Poor Suzanne!!! I am sorry to say I was rolling on the floor laughing, not at you of course, (I hope you’re buying that) I am speaking from personal experiences, breaking calves in 4H to lead and breaking young colts. Your best bet is to have the animal in a small pen. A closed in building is the best. This will enable you to corner the animal and sit on it if you must to get the halter and lead on it. This will also let you touch and gentle your calf. Please watch BP, mother animals can be very protective when it comes to their babies. You have to have the best sense of humor of anyone I have ever seen to share your stories. I wish I could help you, we would have a blast. I adore you, good luck.

  2. 9-29

    An unknown photographer snapped a picture of a positively menacing baby cow, shown above. The creature is reported to be the (former) sweet and gentle Glory Bee, the baby cow rumored to have beaten a local woman. A mock jury assembled of the baby cow’s peers dismissed the photo on the grounds that the only reliable evidence would be cookies.

  3. 9-29

    Looks like Beulah’s not the ONLY one giving you the evil eye!

  4. 9-29

    ROFL! :moo:

  5. 9-29

    And this is why I cannot wait to have my coffee and read your blog..too funny!!
    Have a great day!!
    Hugs Granny Trace

  6. 9-29

    Be interesting to see how this works out…I am thinking of using a halter on Willow’s calf so I can move him aside when she finally lets her milk down. I suspect flicking his nose away from my side may not work in a few weeks.

  7. 9-29

    omg, i laughed so hard! i totally wasn’t expecting that last part. :)

  8. 9-29


  9. 9-29

    That last part was great. LOL I wish you the best of luck.

  10. 9-29

    Adorable story and photos. You can do it, Suzanne!

  11. 9-29

    Nevah, Nevah give up! I think Winston Churchill said that.

  12. 9-29

    You are too funny! I always love to read about your adventures. We are getting calves this weekend, so I am anxious to see how this goes for you. Lucky for us, the mommas aren’t coming with them. I couldn’t take the evil eye!

  13. 9-29

    LOVE the dateline! Very funny!!

  14. 9-29

    Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha! You tell the best stories! I especially love your “news” stories. Hilarious! You’ll get little Glory Bee all harnessed up; I have Faith in you!

  15. 9-29

    Ummmm….. BP’s halter is on wrong. :-) I think it’s inside out. It should hook on the left side rather than the right, and the hook thing is backwards, the hook part should be out instead of againt BP’s head. Does that make sense? Also, the chain under her chin should be on the left instead of the right.

    So, look at that nylon halter. The buckle will go on the left – her left! The strap to the buckle goes over the top of her head, and her nose goes into the hole. LOL Hope that helps, but it’s hard to tell someone how to tie a shoe rather than showing them. :D

  16. 9-29

    Ha hahahahahahahahaha – oh my — this is tooooo funny.

  17. 9-29

    LOL! Can’t wait for round two.

  18. 9-29

    I love your blog posts but this has to be one of my all time favorites..maybe because i can soo sympathize! For such small things..they sure can move fast cant they! Im looking forwards to following this adventure as it unfolds!

  19. 9-29

    The contest is closed on this post. Go here for the next book:

  20. 9-29

    It’s always the cute ones that get you! Good luck rassling that little one!

  21. 9-29

    Hate to be the spoil sport, but BP’s halter is on inside out. The hook is supposed to be on the left side, as is the leading end of her chain. However, the latch up by her poll where the top strap goes over has a hook on it and I wonder if it is turned inside out for safety so that he hook doesn’t get caught on fences. Generally, a leather halter is much safer for livestock when left on 24/7 because it would break in an emergency. Poly will not break and a baby’s neck will snap before a tree or her halter.

  22. 9-29

    Oh, you just made my day!! FIgures Clover would be a snitch!

  23. 9-29

    BP looks like she is getting ready to take you down!!! I learned years ago, that its not so good to get between a cow and her calf!. Good luck with the halter… :devil:

  24. 9-29

    This is why lariats and cowboys were invented!! Get you a Lariat, that ought to be hysterical!!!! I know, I AM NO HELP!!
    But the visuals are killing me!!!!

  25. 9-29

    Not only is your material wonderful, but the way you write is absolutely delightful!! Thank you!! I love the police blotter stories!

  26. 9-29

    I would think you need a helper. Love Glory Bee’s name and all your stories about her and BP.

  27. 9-29

    Oh that is just plain hysterical!!! I wish there were pics of you, Suzanne, chasing after the baby!!!!

  28. 9-29

    Too funny !!!! Never a dull moment around there !

  29. 9-29

    Hey, I found you thru Sheryl. I’ve been reading a lot of your past critter posts and have been ROFL. I luv your writing.

    I agree with above. Make a small enclosure (preferrably around a tree or good post, seem to recall you even have some pallets. Bring momma in, tie her to keep her from moooving around. Baby will follow, close them off and there should be a lot less chasing going on.

    Also, baby might need to drag a small amount of rope that you could step down on to be able to get ahold of her until she willingly will come to you.

  30. 9-29

    Uh oh! Now here’s an idea… I don’t know if it’ll work for you, but when I was a kid we had cows and at summer I went to this daycare centre twice a week. Now, once we made these cow masks: we drew a cow’s head on a thin cardboard, cut it in shape and put a string on it so that we wouldn’t have to hold them in front of our faces with our hands. When I came home I put it on and went to see the cows. They must have thought I was some strange cow, because they came to look at me and one of them licked the mask. :cowsleep:

  31. 9-29

    How can you even think of trying to put a halter on GB when she looks at you with those huge, gorgeous eyes!

  32. 9-29

    VERY FUNNY!!! I feel your PAIN!!! I have bought the little Daschunds that we have a harness and had trouble even getting it on them! :sheepjump:

  33. 9-29

    If the officers had only thought to follow the trail of cookie crumbs that fell out of your apron pockets they could have found you right off.

  34. 9-30

    Oh my, that is too funny! BP’s expression is just like memaw’s when she was giving us kids the “stink eye,” with neck thrust forward and eyes bugged out!

  35. 10-2

    Suzanne, check out a favorite blog of mine. Throwback at Trapper Creek. Jane is a future milk cow for their family. Mom (cow) died at birth. Jane is being raised on a bottle. There are some great tips on handling for future milkers. Lots of gardening tips, too.

  36. 10-4

    Suzanne that was cute….I’m glad it’s you doing this and not me! I have faith in you…I know you’ll get that halter on GB and she’ll be just like Mary’s Little Lamb in the end. Good luck! :hungry2:

  37. 10-5

    Anytime I need a little happy in my day I come on here and read the Barn stories. The evil eye from the cow…LOL. I always laugh, smile, almost cry when I read them. It truly makes my heart shine reading about the animals, with your lovely sense of humour! Thank you so much for sharing them with us.

  38. 10-8

    Soo Funny!!! You are dead on with the animals thoughts!

  39. 10-24

    Looks like you need a horse to herd them here cows around…

  40. 12-24

    I’ve halter broken three of the five head of cattle we own. The first, Mooreen O’Hara, the princess of the place, by putting the halter on and having several mutual dragging sessions. The other two…one a “hamburger bull” calf and the other my young bull as follows: Attach an inner tube to a tree high enough that the animal can’t jump and entangle themselves. Wrestle haltered animal to the tree, and attach lead rope to the inner tube. You can be creative with these various attachments, just don’t forget the ultimate concern is safety of the critter and yourself! Leave the animal a couple of hours at a time to battle wills and stubborness with the tree…stay within sight, of course. Detach from tree, lead to water, back to tree, wait a while again, then to feed. They learn they can’t pull away, and that you on the end of the rope means good things like food and water. The inner tube provides enough give that they don’t hurt themselves. My bull has to be bribed to be caught, but once being led he will go anywhere with me, will walk right in the trailer. This makes a better story, of course, until you realize I raise Irish Dexter cattle…very small cows!

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