Our Angus/Long Horn steer Abraham (a.k.a. “Feed Lot,” “Meat Ball,” “Rib Eye,” and a variety of other misnomers) has a rather peculiar set of horns. One grows up into a point and one curves down toward his jaw. Recent growth of the downward curving horn had reached his jaw and the upward growing horn had become a lethal weapon of about 8 inches that he used to great advantage. Something had to be done to both horns, and after a consultation with our vet, we decided he needed a “trim.”
Abe’s first experience with a squeeze chute. An ignominious end to a friendly hop into the horse trailer, a wary jump out into a pen, a hurried trip down a long winding chute and into this warm new environment at the clinic. He’s thinking there is only one thing wrong with this picture. “After being such a nice boy, this is how I’m treated?” And this is just the beginning.
We have never tried to halter this big boy – it seems a little like trying to get a lasso on something too big to handle, unless he’s in a squeeze chute. So far, he is curious but reasonably trusting. He has never known anything but human kindness (unless of course you count his experience as a calf which changed the course of his life from being a bull to a steer, but that was a small thing).
A wire saw cuts through the horn to remove a couple inches. Hopefully it will not grow back soon – we may have a little trouble convincing Feed Lot to go to town with us again.
A little paste of “Stop Bleed” and a bandage and we’re on to the next horn. So far, so good.
Michael assisted with the upright horn, which was at a difficult angle. This horn poses no problem for Abe, but it is certainly a problem for everyone else, including Tilly! Abe is like a big dog – he gets excited and romps around, bucking and kicking and waving his horns with great abandon. You could say his horns were a dilemma, what with one growing into the side of his jaw and the other pointed God knows where.
Back safely at home in the pasture, Abe made a beeline for neighbor Tom’s fence to seek some sympathy and comfort from his mother who lives next door. He worked his bandages off after a day or two and seems to have recovered from his ordeal. The horse trailer filled with sweet hay disappeared and it is just as well. Doubtless Abe will think twice before being lured in anytime soon!