Under Lock and Key


Several people asked about the rope and the halter (with chains). Halters have chains where the lead can be attached, and the chains cinch up around their jaw, helping to keep them from getting out of the halter when you’re leading them. We used a rope on her to capture her in the first place! Even once we got her cornered, we had to tie her before we could put the halter on her. Catching a calf that hasn’t been broken is pretty much like capturing a wild animal. We ended up leaving the rope on her because we discovered the halter didn’t fit. It’s too big. Even after punching another hole to tighten it up, it’s still too big. Not sure what we’re gonna do about that. It was the only size calf halter at the store…. In any case, after we got her penned the second time, we took both the halter and the rope off her. We’re keeping her penned in the milk stand shed for now, until she tames down some. When I bring BP in to be milked, I let the baby nurse her, too, and she also has water and feed and hay in the pen.

This morning, I got a gallon and a half, and that was only milking BP’s front quarters. When I was done, I let the baby milk her out in the back.

I’ll have all the photos and details of how we caught her (twice!) tomorrow, but I wanted to share this little video of Glory Bee. The first bit is just before we put her in the pen (the second time). No more escapes! The second bit is Glory Bee having her say, and she’s not happy! She’s pretty quiet–we’ve hardly heard her moo since she was born, but you can hear her mooing mad here.

The last bit is Beulah Petunia having dinner with the chickens yesterday evening when I fed her outside the pen (which is not usual, but I was afraid to let her into the milk stand last night for fear the wild calf would try to make a break for it).

Glory Bee was pretty calm this morning when I let BP in for milking and feeding, so I think things are on the upswing…. (Crossing fingers.) This afternoon, I’m going to start feeding her treats. I’ve been petting her a lot. She is tolerating me. Barely.

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Posted by Suzanne McMinn on October 24, 2010  

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40 Responses | RSS feed for comments on this post

  1. 10-24

    Happy to see you have your beautiful calf under control! (albeit under ‘lock and key’)
    We (me, your newest addict) have Jerseys here at our farm. We KNOW what you are going through. You did the right thing, for all concerned. You will certainly thank yourself, if you haven’t already, and very soon-when all this milking and calf raising is more managable. Just like a calf-in-a-hutch!

  2. 10-24

    Glory Bee is surely the Moobeline model of the year! She’s just gorgeous! BP looks happy to be munching outside of her normal area – if nothing else as a reward for being such a good and patient mommy to that GB imp! We love your cows!!!

  3. 10-24

    Awww poor Glory Bee….what a rough life you have….NOT! It almost sounds as if the chickens are laughing at her in the background! Glory Bee has the most beautiful eyes ever!

  4. 10-24

    Glory Bee has a lovely voice. I guess maybe when you can turn it on and off by hitting the “play” button! Is BP at all stressed by having her baby penned up? Animals tend to be pretty adaptable and I’m sure by the end of the weekend things will feel much calmer.

    And in another year or two, when Glory Bee becomes a milker, too, you’ll be able to lead her calmly to her stand to be milked!

  5. 10-24

    Hurray for you! I’m so proud that you’ve accomplished this, you’d athunk I done it myself!

  6. 10-24

    Goodness gracious! She is the cutest baby ever!

  7. 10-24

    Have you considered bottle feeding her? Back in the dark ages (when I was just a young milkmaid on the family farm) after I started to bottle feed a calf I could not get rid of her. Watch out for the butt bumping (yours) though. You can get use to it after a while.

  8. 10-24

    Suzanne, go talk to the old timers. I’ll bet one of them remembers how to make a calf halter. I’ve seen one made entirely from a single piece of rope. As in, someone had a length of rope and folded/twisted it into a halter for a cow. Well, all you have to do is make the fold/twist smaller for a calf. Sorry I don’t know how to do it, I’ve just seen it done.

  9. 10-24

    Congrats on getting GB contained. Put a collar on her for now and you can clip on a lead to the D ring when you walk her. You will not have as much control but at least you will be out and going. Try to walk her in a fenced area.She will grow into her halter. I would not start her on treats;she does not need them. She will become a terrible pest.

  10. 10-24

    I love that little pouty stance she makes at the beginning of the clip. :cowsleep:

    Sounds like you have some good advice here. Before you know it, you’ll be a pro at this calf/cow thing. :heart:

  11. 10-24

    Hey Suzanne!

    That reminds me of my neighbors down the road. They have a cattle farm. Every once in awhile when we drive by they will have all of the mother cows on one side of the fence and all of the what I call “teenager cows” on the other side. You should hear 40 of them crying for their mommy! :moo: :moo: :moo: :moo: :moo:

    Angela :wave:

  12. 10-24

    I’ve never seen a calf up close – BP is beautiful! Are you sure she’s not part Bambi?

  13. 10-24

    Oops – though BP is beautiful, I meant GB has doe eyes. :happyfeet:

  14. 10-24

    Glory Bee is as beautiful as a calf could be. Those eyes!

  15. 10-24

    Glory Bee is growing out well. Good thing you are getting her under control and halter broke now before she gets any bigger. I second the no treats. Just good hay, water and mommas milk at this age. You don’t want to mess up her rumen or create a pest that begs for treats. Train them as calves how you want them to act as adult cows. They need to be respectful of your space. A calf that uses its head to butt or push you or uses its body to crowd you will grow to be a dangerous cow. Teach them to how to lead, come when you call and to enjoy a good brushing. Don’t ever let her think she is the boss.

  16. 10-24

    My goodness, she is such a beautiful calf–hard to believe she can be so uncooperative! Sounds like Sheila Z. knows whereof she speaks . . .

  17. 10-24

    Glory Bee cracks me up! She’s so expressive.

    I think Beulah Petunia is grateful to have that little stinker confined. She sure doesn’t look worried.

  18. 10-24

    Glory Bee has that perfect “Maw” word on the end of her bellow. The little rascal. I,too, have seen the old timers make halters for calves out of a length of rope. The little moo-er :moo: is going to do just fine.

  19. 10-24

    What an ornery little rascal! :cowsleep:
    My friends ranch in N. CA and when they try to catch their calves, the little suckers kick them and head butt them!

  20. 10-24

    She is THE cutest baby ever! :airkiss:

  21. 10-24

    Here you go!

  22. 10-24

    Loved the video.
    Glory Bee is certainly a beautiful calf. She should calm down quickly.
    As Darlene says, a rope halter is easy to make. I’ll bet one of your neighbors knows how to do it (ask the guy with the arms..Frank?) :)
    That’s great advice from Jersey Lady and Sheila.

  23. 10-24

    Glory Bee is going through her adolescence and being a rascal. Poor little thing, but I have to say, she gets cuter every day. And I love her MOO. she’s simply darling.:airkiss: :airkiss: :airkiss:

  24. 10-24

    I suppose it’s just as well I live in town. She’c cuter than any pet I’ve had!

  25. 10-24

    Im soo glad you took off the halter. Too bad you couldnt find one like BP’s that one looks like it fits her great. Hopefully you’ll find one for the baby, shes just too darn cute for that big ole chained halter. Halter/lead training is going to be rough at first, persevere Suzanne, you’ve had toddlers before!!!
    Typical mothers here, overly protective of all babies, even GB!

  26. 10-24

    Thanks for sharing GB with us! I made your pizza crust yesterday and we had a make your own pizza 15th birthday party for my daughter…it was a huge hit!

    Hey I noticed at the end of the video one of your chicken’s butts….is kinda pink and bare. I live in the urban Portland, OR but I have four chickens (going on 18 months) and one of them has this same issue. She has had since I got her about a year ago. Do you know what causes it?

  27. 10-24

    Mel, our hens’ bare butts and backs are caused by roosters.

  28. 10-24

    What a beautiful calf she is. Her coloring is gorgeous and those eys – Oh my! I just want to give her a big old kiss.

  29. 10-24

    I read the instructions that debi linked to. Maybe I’m a little thick, but I just couldn’t picture it in my minds eye, so went searching. Here’s pretty much the same thing, but with pictures… NOW I get it!
    Scroll down about half way to see it.

  30. 10-24

    What a gorgeous little face!! I love Glory Bee!! I’d give her a kiss on the nose if I could ever catcher her! I bet MaMa is glad to have a little time out!!!!

  31. 10-24

    I love the fact that your little girl calf is a baritone!

  32. 10-25

    Aw she is beautiful! It will be so worth it when she is nice and tame :) I love her eyes

  33. 10-25

    She does have the most beautiful eyes!

    Is Coco loose through the night to guard the livestock? Is Coco housed with the sheep? Do you have coyotes or wolves that could prey on little GB and BP? She’s so little right now. You need more livestock guardian dogs.

  34. 10-25

    I’ve never seen a peeved calf before but this one is ticked!

  35. 10-25

    BP looks so serene eating w/the chickens. Maybe a miniature horse harness would fit GB?

  36. 10-25

    That darn baby is soooo cute!

  37. 10-25

    It sounds like this is harder on you, I mean emotionally, not physically, than on the calf’s mama. But when you have another calm, beautiful milk cow when GB is older, you will pat yourself on the back.

    Her antics are fun to watch, but here’s the good news about a farm: Good Lord willin’, there’s always more babies of one kind or another.

  38. 10-26

    Hi Mel – There’s lots of causes for bare, red butts on chickens. Some, like lice, are rather serious. Sometimes there’s a feather-picking hen, and it can get so bad that there’s blood. Sometimes, it’s just because your hen is a good producer and is putting energy into egg laying and not feather making. I’ve got a post about it, with photos, that you might want to read.

  39. 10-29

    Thanks Terry! The hen I am speaking of is a Rhode Island Red and she lays just about every day….so that might be it. No lice, no feather picking (and NO roosters, they are not allowed in the city)…I have eliminated every option….so knowing that some heavy producers are just this way is good to hear!!! Thanks!

  40. 10-31

    GB is a little Diva! She is just beautiful!!

    And now I know more than I ever wanted to about chicken butts. :?

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