Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Until the cows come home.

Until the cows come home, most have heard that old saying, well they came home for the last time this past weekend. It was a very sad time for us but we had to sell them all. Our farm is remote and so my mother will not stay there alone, she will sell and move into town. It will be the first time since the 1800's that there are no cattle on the farm. Cows are cows and all would sooner or later have to go but there are family lines that have been around since I was a baby, maybe even before then. The cows themselves ranged in age from two years old to fourteen, so we do get attached in some way to them. Like the chickens, some are ding-bats but some are nice animals and I felt guilty as if betraying a friend.


They will all go together to a new home, a much larger farm with other cattle, I told the farmer "good luck, I hope they do well for you". I will take this moment to say my Dad did know how to pick good cattle, the calves were often some of the biggest around by fall, he also took good care of them, a bit spoiled actually, however if they bring in the money, then they need to be looked after. My Dad used to be a cow/calf farmer. This means he kept cows as a breeding herd, they raise their own babies until the calf is around six months old, and then we sell the calf. Some one buys them and then finishes raising them. The cows are never milked, I laugh when people from the city ask me "can't you just put a milking machine on them?" The younger ones we could probably train, but if you were to walk up to an older cow of about six who never has been milked before and "try" to stick milkers on her, you will probably be seeing stars for a while from the kick!

I took some goodbye shots of me bringing them home. They are all gone now and the fields feel so empty, I keep expecting to see one walk out or hear one bawl. I just did not have time to look after them any more but I miss them in a strange way. My Dad refused to look at my film, I think it would be too hard for him to see them come home for the last time and it is sadly interesting that he pretty much entered a coma the weekend they left.

I was calling them from the far pastures to the home farm, watch and see them happy to run home.

8 comments:

Sunny said...

We raise Herefords on the same type program, momma cows and babies til 6 mo, but crossed w/Angus bull.
Your dad had a very nice looking herd! My heart goes out to your family at this time .....

Tracey said...

That was so sad. I'm very sorry for you all. That looks such a beautiful place to live, how far away from there do you live?
Tracey
xxx

Amri said...

I don't know much about cattle but they look beautiful. I hope that they are going to a very good home.

John Gray jgsheffield@hotmail.com said...

end of an era.....
chin up

Sara said...

How hard this must all be for you! I hope that in some small way writing your blog is helping you come to terms with everything you are going through. My thoughts are with you at this difficult time, Sara x

Amy said...

oh, i feel so sad for you. and sorry about your little chick!

thinking of you. Amy xxx

Chicken Boys said...

Gees. That is so sad! I'd cry my eyes out. It's hard enough selling a chicken that I've raised from a bitty. Please tell your dad that I am sorry things ended that way!!

Odette said...

i use to live with my grandmother in our farm, a very remote place, yet it's the one that stuck to my memory most because it's where i have the most fun.
they eventually have to sell it because none of their 11 children would like to live there. my dad's sibling are use to the life in the city and tending a farm isn't what they want.
maybe aside from my grandma, i was the only one who felt sad to see it go. but i will always have the memory of my childhood days, where chickens run freely, the pigs are not put on a sty, and cows and water buffalo are my means of transport.
i am sure you have yours too that will last you a life time...