Saturday, August 15, 2009

TCL (Taking Care of Livestock)

Hey, look at that fat cow! And he's petting a steer!

Laurie and I are taking care of a friend's ranch this weekend! This is Norman. He's a steer! He lives in a large pen, about an acre large, with two llamas who, as I found out this morning, like to chase Norman off when you give them hay.

Laurie made sure to warn me not to put my hands between the bars. I found out why. When he whips his head around he is a force of nature. He could rip your arm off without even noticing.

We are also taking care of a pony, a horse, two dogs, a herd of cats, and a garden. I haven't taken pictures of the others yet as we've been busy and our visit with Norman was the more relaxed part of the morning.
This morning we were mucking the horse stalls. I managed to start up the John Deere riding mower once and stalled it about 25 feet away (I think it ran out of gas.) Anyway, I couldn't restart it and had to push the tractor back to the barn. It was a heavy tractor. Mercifully, Laurie did not take a picture of that. So we wheelbarrowed the poops from one side of the ranch to the other.
I know you're thinking a city boy like me clearly doesn't know how to dress for ranch work, and you may be right. But Norman seemed to like my shirt.

Maybe it could have used some salt.


  1. You were very kind to vegetarians by not mentioning that Norman is Hamburger on the Hoof. He will look great on somebody's grill. Oh, my, don't shoot me. I'm simply speaking truth. (wry smile)

  2. Dear Judy,

    Dear Norman is actually a pet. That's why Paul didn't mention anything like that. You can't tell from the pic, of course, but his left eye is completely clouded with a cataract. He's a Jersey, not a prized beef, and my friend somehow acquired him to spare him becoming dog food or some such. My friend is a horsewoman with a penchant for strays and outcasts (like me). All her other animals are really just pets. She doesn't have any food animals at all.

  3. Glad you and Laurie got a chance to do some farm living. I know I sure miss it.