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— There is not one single person in the cattle business who has a cow/calf operation that has not had trouble with a cow taking a calf. If you have 'em, it will happen. The heifers are usually the ones who deliver a calf, look around, see the calf and run for the hills! Old cows sometimes participate in the malady for reasons unknown to me and most of the fellers who own cattle. Science may call it an imbalance of hormones; we just deal with it, whatever it is.

I think I'd rather have a splinter under my thumbnail than a calf who is really stupid. I know, that word stupid is not nice and my close relative won't allow the Grands to use it, but some calves are just that, stupid!

The average cow, good cow, is smart in a bovine sort of way. She will outfox the average cattleman many times during her lifetime. She can and might climb through fences, wink at the neighbor's bull and produce a baby of questionable heritage, come tothefeedtroughwhencalled and refuse to go in a gate that she has been through four times a year all of her life.

A cow is a fantastic piece of workmanship. She turns grass and sometimes weeds into milk for her offspring that turns into money and brings pleasure to the man who owns her, if she is to his liking. That is up to the man and if he doesn't enjoy her she should hit the road to the sale barn. It does not cost any more to feed a good cow than it does to feed a sorry one. That little gem of information was free!

Anyhow, even a good cow can and will produce a stupid calf once in a while! I know this to be fact because some of my close relative's cows do this very thing every year. This fall is no exception and it isn't even

fall yet, but some calves come a little early and when they do I don't believe their brains are formed completely. Little glitches seem to be there, maybe small electrical storms develop before all the circuits are completed, or some other scientific explanation.

You guessed it, I have become the proud owner of the most stupid calf born this year. His dam is a heifer, was a heifer but became a cow last evening. She is one of those keepers, long and deep bodied, good legs and settled with calf the first season. Such a looker all the time we waited for her to calve. She is an A-1 product, sire is a $150 a straw bull and I am so happy to own her and a sister from a split straw.

The M.S. (most stupid) calf is pretty. He is long legged and big, weighed 87 pounds and would have hit a hundred if he had been carrying a brain. He ran the other direction as soon as he could stand, won't try to nurse, bellers long and loud and is so hard to handle I am exhausted every time I try to get him up to the cow. And she kicks like a witch, snorts snot all over the place and wants to put her head in my hip pocket.

It is my opinion, and everyone has one, I love the job! All of the cattlemen of the world love their jobs! The close relatives of the cattlemen of the world love the cattleman's job and theirs!If we didn't you couldn't pay us enough to raise your beef! You'd be saying, "T-Bone, what's a T-Bone?", and looking pale and puny from the lack of iron and zinc in your blood! Yep, it is a time to be praising the Lord for men who are determined (dumb) enough to put up with stupid calves and the close relatives that assist them!

-Bill

News, Pages 4 on 09/02/2009

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