Saturday comes around, and I can't move. Dry heaves are a horrible invention by the bye. Husband has to work, so the search for the cows is on hold until later that night. The plan is, or was, to stay over at the farm, and find the girls while it was still cool in the morning.
20 minutes before husband was due to arrive home the phone rings, it is Earl. "Cows spotted" and he gave me direction to the field they were hanging out in. Happy happy happy joy joy! I told Earl, it takes an hour for us to get there, let's hope they are still in the area by then.
Since I was sick and didn't get to go, here is the story as told to me.
Husband, Large and Medium headed out for the farm. My mother was to meet the out there. It was so close to dark that they wouldn't be able to search for the girls that night, however they did find Undies (bull) in the field that we where first told he was in. Husband left him until morning. Next morning, him and the boys went wondering, after a couple of wondering miles, they found the girls a half mile from our property across the creek. A game of catch me if you can began. Cows trying to catch husband and his cookie bucket.
With all the girls and X back in the pen, it was time to find Undies. He had a new herd of Angus and Herefords to play with, and wasn't as easily persuaded to come home. While husband was off in the field that we thought belong to Robby, the real owner arrived and chewed my mom out. You are to ask permission before going onto others property. Of course we all know that, but the people we were told that owned this field wanted our "damn bull" of his property now. And once the owner saw that husband wasn't chasing the cattle on an atv, he calmed down. And husband explained everything that had happened.
He told him that we were told Robby wanted the bull gone. Turns out Robby is the renter of the barn/house, he has no land. He helped that man named Sam put the bull into this guys field. Husband told him that we had left a note with Sam, because we had thought the bull was in Sam's field. And Sam hadn't called us. The owner wasn't surprised of course. Then he told husband that he wasn't happy with Sam or Robby. Sam shouldn't have taken the bull 2 miles from where he was found to put him in his field.
The rule is, if cattle roam into your yard, if you know the owner put it in their field, if you don't keep it in your field until the owner is found. Sam lives right across from our cattle pasture where there are cows meanderings around in. He should have put him in there. Husband and this owner are now getting on fabulously. Does that surprise anyone?
Undies follows husband a bit, but then so do ten other cows. The owner says he needs to split them anyway, so helps husband by loading Undies and 3 yearlings into a trailer, and takes him back to our farm. And it has began raining at this point.
Owner says to husband, looks like it is time to cut the bull. Husband laughs. Undies is the same size of his yearling calves. So now husband gets to explain what our cows are, and that Undies is close to full grown. This got the owners attention and they talk a bit. He also offered up some of his Herefords if we are interested. And teased husband for the amount of chain he wrapped around the gate "you know someone will walk along and just take that off."
Husband comes home, and my HUZZAH! post went up. All the cows are back home, everyone in the neighborhood knows they are ours, but we hang out with "those people" so Sam is still going to be an issue. Who are those people you ask? Mennonites, Earl and his family. And Sam isn't the only one with a problem with them, but the others seem not to want to mistreat us because of it. Besides, Earl's good enough for them to allow work their fields. He is good at what he does.
SO the cows are home, and I am no longer deathly sick. Things should turn around. The cows at the homestead are being allowed to hang out in good neighbor's pasture. Last night as I was calling them home, Large starts screaming the Buckets (our Stafford-shire Bull dog) is drowning. The boys had tied a rope to her and a small bucket. And where having a good time having her chase things. Then they tied her waffle ball to it, and great hilarity occurred. But they didn't get it off of her in time. She decided to cool off, and the rope was now tangled up on something and she was struggling to keep her head above the water. Large wouldn't go in after her, and he was closest. So I ran full out, jumped the gate and pulled everything out of my pockets. Wasn't about to loose another phone! I ran into the pond, my first reaction was to dive, but did I mention that this was the poop lagoon? No? well it was. I has chest deep in waste. I got the rope of her and she swam safely to shore while I slowly made my way out. I then put on a strip show for the entire neighborhood, no shame in nakedness, only shame being covered in human waste. But frogs, snakes and turtles live in the pond, so it can't be too bad. A quick shower in tepid warm water, had to save what propane we have left for the boys, and a lot of soap. And I felt better.
There are times I want to stop this entire homesteading thing. Husband, with the thought of loosing almost $10,000 worth of cattle was done. We only need one more year, and our investment of $1,500 will start seeing a turn in profit. 1 more year, that's all we need. But with the girls home, husband is talking about buying a couple of the Herefords, or exchanging services for a couple, so we can see a butcher before that year is up. And some more money. Some ranchers will use a Dexter or Kerry stud for their first years. Mixing the breeds makes the first births easier. We hope for an exchange. We will see what can be worked out. Maybe even offer a cow share program to a few people that want Hereford beef. But this is something we will sit down and talk about in detail later.
But the cows are home!