Our Longhorn/Angus steer who we fondly refer to as “Feedlot” will be turning 10 years of age soon, and it has been an interesting decade to say the least. We acquired him as a weanling at the same time we took delivery on a foal we had invested in and the two became bunkmates in a round pen. We figured they could keep each other company while they sorted out the loss of their mothers and maternal love.
Officiallly named Abraham, many other monikers took over, including Rib Eye, Meat Loaf and of course, Feedlot. I am probably missing a few as well as many epithets hurled his way as he found myriad ways to get into mischief.
Feedlot’s curiosity about anything unusual or different in his range of vision requires him to investigate, test and terminate. Young trees, new fences, containers of all types, nothing misses his attention. Growing trees in Wyoming is one of the most difficult endeavors one can imagine,and trying to give them a real chance of survival means overcoming Feedlot’s determination to break branches, chomp leaves and strip the bark with his horns.
Caught in the act of invading a small chicken pen next to the garden, he contents himself with eating the remains of a bale of straw he dug out of the shed, broke open and scattered about. NIce going, Feedlot!
Tru Tahlequah Miss arrived at Penrose, CO on Mother’s Day. We bred one of my niece Sue’s mares, a sorrel with enough splash to qualify as a registered paint to a handsome registered black and white paint, Sugs Tru Luck and our lives took on a whole new dimension.
My dog Rosie is curious about these new additions to the family. She is cautious around them but very interested in staying close. Feedlot stopped crying and wailing for his mama when Tilly arrived. After Tilly overcame her trauma of traveling from Colorado in a trailer, she seemed to be getting along reasonably well. With Tilly, I have learned you never know her real attitude until she unwinds in an explosion of bucking, kicking and stomping. She will be 10 on Mother’s Day, 2022 and it has been a decade of fun and fury.
Draining the bird bath was a minor nuisance from this pair. What one did not think of,the other did. And when they were apart, they were always on the lookout for each other. When Tilly had to go to the vet, Feedlot became agitated and would follow the horse trailer to the cattle guard. He was always on hand for her return to check in with her.
Feedlot does not have a “full rack” of horns that his Longhorn mother has. One horn grows up, the other down near his cheek. It became apparent something had to be done so a trip to the vet ended in a chunk being sawed off. It was a pretty gruesome experience and he is being bandaged to stop the bleeding. He was so happy to be home again and I am certain Tilly was sympathetic to his plight.
When it came time to put Tilly under saddle, Feedlot was bad news. A maiden voyage with me on her back and my trainer leading her around the pasture created tension between Tilly and her possessive friend Feedlot. When we managed to elude him and traveled through a gate that contained him, he threw a fit, running along the fence snorting and raking his horns along the fence. When we drew out of sight, Tilly was agitated. At first she seemed to calm down, but shortly did what I have learned is her modus operandi. She bucked me off. Ord, my trainer took her back to the barn, while I trailed along with severe lower back pain. He took her out and made her follow the trail we had outlined for our ride. She gave him no trouble, but that was small comfort to me.
Tilly expresses irritation and frustration with loading in the horse trailer. It took quite a while and many rodeos to convince her.
A tree collapsed in a storm and we piled up branches for days to be burned. This pair could not contain their curiosity, checking to see if there were any remaining leaves to chew on. Typical of their behavior. We decided to build a fence to separate them and see if we could produce a foal to keep Tilly company. Plans to breed Tilly began in earnest and consumed two summers and a small fortune in vet fees and stud fees. To no avail. The vet reasoned that since she was an “old maid” she might be difficult. I question that assessment and am debating whether to try again. Perhaps if we found a real nice guy instead of doing artificial insemination, she would cooperate?
Feedlot was thrilled this past autumn when we invited his mother for an extended visit to help graze the pastures along with a couple other cows. They nuzzled and loved on each other while Tilly had to just watch from afar. Hmmm. She needs a friend without horns!
Feedlot was Panda the Longhorn cow’s last calf and she lives next door where she can keep an eye on him. Their bond is truly heartwarming – a mother never forgets. It is almost as great a friendship as Tilly and Feedlot share.