On September 20, 1998 our longhorns arrived:
. Hollywood the bull with four of his closest girlfriends
Here Big Red and Little Red graze on the CyberRanch's island
Here's John S. Killian DVM, one of the best cattle
veterinarians in Central Texas.
We had him out to check over the herd.
10/28/98 I've been spending most of spare time lately putting
up fence. In the first week we had the longhorns, Hollywood
jumped a fence and went over to fight with a neighbor's Angus
bull. I was at work, but luckily Goodwench was at home. Turns out
the man who owned the Angus and the guys working on the carport
wouldn't go near the bulls, so Goodwench had to go grab Hollywood
and lead him up to the neighbors pen. Later that evening I loaded
him into the neighbors stock trailer and we brought him home. At
least we go to meet a nice neighbor out of all this.
3/31/99 The bred cows were supposed to deliver in February.
Here it is April and we still have no calves. I've decided it
might be a Range Cube extortion plan. The cows are telling me to
keep giving them lots of Range Cubes if I ever want to see a
calf. I'm not sure how much longer some of them can hold out.
Patches (formerly Big Red) has her udder very full. We just keep
checking each morning and evening. There's film in the camera as
the CyberRanch eagerly awaits its first birth.
4/1/99 No babies on the way out to work this morning. After
some errands I arrived home from work at 5:30. Hollywood and
Patches didn't come up into the field when I first put out the
range cubes. I went walking to look for them. When I got all the
way to the bottom of the pasture, there was Hollywood. I still
hadn't seen Patches. Hollywood started to follow me back up. When
I got up to the feeding area, a little tiny calf was standing
between Bright Eyes and Patches. His markings are a lot like
Bright Eyes, but Patches is the one who has given the CyberRanch
our first birth. I was hoping for a heifer, and I'd have named
her April. I wanted to name all 1999 babies names starting with
an "A" We finally settled on Adam, as this was the
first. Goodwench eventually decided he was really Abraham.
Here's the first born on the CyberRanch, Abraham (April) at 1
Goodwench feeds her favorite cow, Bright Eyes
4/17/99 We're getting ready to run out to the Heart Of Texas
Fairgrounds for the longhorn show and judging. I leave Goodwench
off at the water faucet to fill the water tank before we leave,
and I drive out to check the chicken predator traps. Goodwench
yells for me to come. I didn't know what was wrong. I jumped in
the truck and backed up to where Goodwench was. Zelda has a new
little brown calf. We took a bunch of pictures; first with the
35mm, then with the Polaroid. At first he appears to be all a
solid reddish brown like his mother. When we got home from the
show, we can't find him. Over behind the Morgan Building, little
Martin has slipped under the rail fence. Goodwench on one side of
the fence and I on the other slide him back under. He puts up no
resistance and we worry that he might be sick. Zelda comes over
to see what we're doing. Little Martin stands up and totters over
to his mom. Turns out he must have just been sleeping. Martin
stands up and totters over to Zelda. It turns out that his tail
and the very bottom of his belly is white. He's not the solid
color he appeared to be when he was still wet.
4/29/99 Bright Eyes has John, the third baby bull Her
udder is really full. Goodwench & I went and petted little
John while Bright Eyes stood over and watched.
6/23/99 The really good news is just a bit embarrassing.
Abraham is really April. All three are still doing well. We also
found out why Goalpost never had a calf. When I was mowing the
pasture I came across a little, dried up baby calf that must have
been stillborn. Goalpost should probably be culled as a herd cow,
but she made such a nice aunt for all the babies, that we'll
probably give her another year. My neighbor, Slick and I rode
over to the large cattle operation today to look at their
corrals, chutes, and working pens. Right now we have neither a
way to castrate the baby bulls or really even get them loaded up
on a trailer.
1/24/00 It's probably a bit too early, but we came
out to go to work this morning and found Patches had calved.
She had a little tiny heifer, and we've named her Button.
3/10/00 Zelda was the second to calve again this year.
Like last year with Martin, she again had a bull. His name
4/26/00 We had a great surprise upon returning from
work. Bright Eyes calved. She had walked into the
tank, our around the dividing fence to get to the island and the
back yard. We've kept the back yard fenced since we found
out that needing to wade through belly deep water to get around a
fence is nothing to a Longhorn. We were a little concerned
at first, because we could see no movement in the baby. She
was dry, but born very recently. As I eased up to
investigate, I first saw a little ear twitch, and then she woke
up. Realizing this baby couldn't return to the barnyard the
way her mother had arrived, I removed a section from the fence.
This allowed last years calves to come up into the back yard for
the first time. Before I got the section of fence removed,
Patches was using her head and horns to push a bit at the new
baby. We were a little concerned at first, but then
realized that she was just helping to herd the baby in the
direction back toward the barnyard. Even with the fence
removed, new mother and baby stayed where they were while the
others walked back to be fed. After eating, all 8 of them
returned to join Bright Eyes and the new baby. The next
morning they were all around the newborn, having spend the night
out on the island with them. It becomes easy to understand
the Longhorn's exceptional ability to thrive in difficult
environments when one observes their mothering and care-taking
skills. I'm reminded why I keep Longhorns despite the meat
buyers lack of understanding how special a breed they are.
5/12/00 Though she miscarried last year, old Goal Post had a
baby this year. A storm was coming up and it was almost dark. I
wanted to check on the longhorns, but they seemed to be hanging
out at the far end of the pasture on edge of a grove of trees.
When I got down there, I found a little bull who will be named
Bingo. This is the fourth and last longhorn calf for 2000.
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