Tuesday, July 15, 2014

'til the Cows Come Home

Vintage calendar picture
approx. 1950

Last year in a box filled with old bank statements and cancelled checks, I found this calendar picture that my mother saved.

Our dairy herd (those that we milked) were kept in the corral and only the dry and/or pregnant cows/heifers were placed on pasture. It was important to keep the diet of the milking cows consistent because "green" feed affects the milk quality. Green feed can also cause bloat, which can be deadly.

Sometimes, but not often, the dairy herd escaped the corral. I always dreaded hearing, "the cows are out!" At those times, it was all hands on deck until the cows were back in the corral. Anyone who's worked with cattle will tell you that cows seem to be blind to an open gate when you want them to go through it; yet when you want them to stay in an area, they will dart through an open gate without being provoked.

We always had a bull in the corral with the cows, and he presented an entirely different problem. In my opinion, dairy bulls are some of the most vicious and dangerous animals, and I tried to give them a wide berth whenever I could. We once had a bull that did not like my Mother, and whenever he got out of the corral, he would come to the house, looking for her. Before he was rounded up, he tore clothes off of the clothes line and led my brother on a wild chase in the field south of the house.

12 comments:

  1. I bet your mother didn't like that bull much either after he messed up the clean clothes.

    ReplyDelete
  2. How funny to read that the milking cows must not have grass. When I was growing up on a dairy farm that was all the cows had, except for hay in the winter and sometimes another green crop like swedes. In fact NZers take pride in their dairy cows being grass feed.
    Agree with you about the bulls. We had one that took a dislike to one of my brothers and tossed him. Not nice!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Oops meant to say, super picture, bit like the ones on the Saturday Evening Post covers.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Reminds me of some of my mother's stories:) Such a different life.

    ReplyDelete
  5. I love to listen to some of your stories. They warm my heart like this one. Keep up the good work

    ReplyDelete
  6. Oh MY!! What was that bulls name or did you not name them?

    ReplyDelete
  7. Love the memories that calendar picture brought up. I grew up in town, but visited my Kansas grandparents on the farm once or twice a year. I was pretty amazed to watch my grandfather milk their couple of dairy cows by hand. They didn't even have electricity on the farm (mid & late 1950s) so I guess milking by hand was the only option. I was afraid of the geese however because they followed us kids around and nipped at us.

    ReplyDelete
  8. I like the calendar picture too; it reminds me of a Norman Rockwell piece.

    A bull was that mean to your mom? What gets into those boys? I didn't know that you had to keep the dairy cows corralled and watch their diet so closely. I really enjoy your blogs about farm life.

    ReplyDelete
  9. On the contrary I think he was in love with your mother and trying hard to get her attention. It's what boys do! I love finding treasures like the calendar.

    ReplyDelete
  10. OH, we would avoid the bull at all costs!! Love this old picture that reminds me of younger times.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Cute calendar image. I thought I was the only one who steered clear of dairy bulls!!!! Our neighbor had one that was just a menace and would stalk me if I went to the creek - on our property line!

    ReplyDelete
  12. We didn't have cows, but we had goats--and their milk would taste "off" if they ate certain weeds, too.

    ReplyDelete

I love comments!

If you are going to ask a question make sure you have your profile set to allow me to respond back by email or email me directly - my address is in upper right hand column.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...