Stories of life on our farm in Northwest Georgia where every day is an adventure in this beautiful spot that God has entrusted to our stewardship.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Setting Up Siobhan for AI

This morning we had scheduled Mitch from Bickett Genetics to come set Siobhan up for AI.  To be sure we'd be ready for him, Herb put all the cows in the Lower Pasture last night and put Siobhan up in the round pen with water and plenty of grass.  The plan was to get Siobhan into the head gate just before Mitch arrived.

Of course this blog wouldn't be about Adventures on Zephyr Hill Farm if things went according to plan around here!  Herb got home from breakfast with a friend, went out to feed and found the round pen empty.  Siobhan was off by herself in Kara's Pasture.  Here's the hole she made getting out of the barbed wire part of the round pen.  I told Herb that Siobhan thinks F. E. N. C. E. stands for "Free Egress: Nice Cow Exit!"

Herb's first task was to get Siobhan back in the Lower Pasture.  Next was to patch the round pen with a cattle panel.  I arrived on the scene, wobbly and sweating from having been sick since Sunday, carrying a feed pan filled with feed, halters, lead, and cellphone.

Luckily, Siobhan loves apples.  While Herb mended fence, she followed me across the pasture and into the round pen, flicking her tongue for the apple in my hand.  Herb went out the far gate, came around and followed Siobhan in, shutting the gate behind her.

Of course, Sara wanted apples, too, so she followed Siobhan in, but she kept her distance.  (She was probably thinking, "Yeah, they got me in there seven months ago, and here I am, pregnant again!")

Herb tempted Siobhan into the far end of the chute while I operated our high-tech swing gate--a cattle panel.  It's not fancy, but it works fine.  So does the fence post Herb put behind Siobhan to keep her from backing up.  (As quiet as she was, we probably could have just walked up and haltered her and led her in, but we went with the tried and true method.)

By the time Mitch arrived, Siobhan was in the head gate happily munching apples.  I distracted her from from her tail end by putting on a new halter.

After Mitch left, we made sure Siobhan got plenty of apples and lots of loving.  She was happy to get a good head scratch and an all-over rub.  Misty came into the round pen to say hi.

I'm glad she and Siobhan get along so well; that's part of Misty's job.  (Although Herb told me that when he was trying to empty the other tank in the Lower Pasture today, Sara was quite close to him and Misty kept growling at Sara.  She didn't stop until Herb moved away.  Sara does not like dogs, so she hasn't made friends with Misty, so apparently Misty doesn't trust her.)

Siobhan and I practiced a bit of leading.  I was thrilled to find that, despite the several month hiatus in working with her, she was ready to go where I led her.  This is where we really see the docile Dexter temperament in action!  It's one of the main reasons we decided to go with Dexters and one of the main qualities we look for in a bull.  (Stay tuned to meet Siobhan's "significant other.")

Siobhan may see the F. E. N. C. E. as a challenge, but the halter and lead rope seem to spell B. U. S. I. N. E. S. S.  What a good girl!

Sara made sure the extra feed didn't go to waste.  T-Bone didn't even try to come get any.  The poor guy knows his place in the pecking order!

I know this is not a cow!  It's just that Hammy Faye Bakker is so darn cute, I couldn't resist taking her picture on the way up to the house.  I was ready to crash, but who can resist a cute pig, especially when it runs up to the fence to greet you?


  1. I was about to say how good those cows are looking when Hammy Faye stole the limelight!

  2. It's good to have your professional opinion on the cows, Brent. They look good to us, but we're no experts so we appreciate your input. And yes, Hammy Faye does steal the limelight with those flashy spots and perky ears!

  3. I'm no expert either, but I've seen a lot of cows, mostly in the last three years.

    I'd love to see s side shot of T-bone. There is a farm not far away with a Dexter bull, too. They're searching for Dexter cows to make a herd.

  4. I agree--the pig stole the limelight--really cute!


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