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Monday, November 07, 2011

Uma has been sold.

First I would like to welcome to the neophyte readers. 10 new guests decided to join us last week. Welcome! And those of you that have been coerced over by Kymber, no worries, I got your back.

The man that had bought Donkey and the other lamb, had expressed interest in purchasing one of my cows. However he didn't have a trailer. And because of the farm deal falling through, we neglected to purchase one ourselves. We have no reason to move them off property. So he had to pass, or so I thought. He showed up late afternoon yesterday with a trailer.

No warning, so Uma (the only butchering one I have up for sale) was not separated from the herd. Needless to say this showing up without warning didn't make me very happy. Luckily for him, he didn't attempt to haggle with me at that moment. Earlier in the week he had asked if I was willing to drop the price, I told him No. I could get more money from the meat, and besides she is already cheaper than papered animals. (even though she is papered)

So the attempt was on to get Uma loaded up in their trailer.

First off there was a language barrier with his younger helper. Usually this isn't much of a problem because they tend to allow me to do all the work. As I am unable to tell them exactly how we need to do something, and they tend not to want to get in the way. Sorry every one, I do not know Spanish, Greek or Arabic. Maybe I should learn a few phrases like Stop , and, let me do it! Might make things easier. But this young un was ambitious, and ended tripping me up, literally. And because they were confused on which cow it was, they ended up roping Urth. And she is so passive she had allowed it. Luckily Husband was able to step in a stop that. Urth has the personality that I want to keep bred into my milking staff. Uma doesn't. She is mean and will not allow the others to eat. She learned it by watching her mother.

Husband was able to wrestle Uma to the ground, and was disappointed in me for not getting it on film. I told him we could do it again with one of the bulls, make it look all dramatic and dangerous to show all his motorcycle clients.  He wasn't going for it.

We lead and dragged her as far as we could get her. Then I had to use the cattle prod. I hate using it, but it is the most humane thing available to move a stubborn cow.  The voltage is lower than the stun guns used in self defense. A lot lower. I know because I have been shocked by both, and prefer the buzz and surprise of the cattle prod.  The cattle prod will get me moving, the stun gun, well stuns me and makes me want to fall to the ground in a fetal position crying. So I used it on Uma. It moved her, but not onto the platform of the trailer.

Now I really don't have to tell you this story. I realize there are many out there that think this is cruel. But here is the cruel part of the story. The man that was purchasing Uma, told me to move away, then he proceeded to hit her with a board!  I almost shocked him in the neck with the cattle prod. I yelled stop at him. And told him that this was better, the prod. Safer and not painful only shocking (surprising). We got her in, and I gave her a big scoop of cookies to calm her.

He paid full price for her. The younger helper asked me a few questions in very broken English. Luckily I have dealt with it enough that I could get the gist of what he was asking. He was interested in the cattle prod, as he has never seen one before. I take it that it is customary for them to hit their cattle with boards.  And then they were off.

Later that night I felt dreadful. Guess I had second thoughts about selling her to whom I had sold her to. Now it is really hard sometimes to write about ones fears without coming off as a bigot. But allow us to call it media and documentary induced paranoia, as most my thoughts came from scenes I have seen on the tv, add to the fact that I watched him beat her with a board, and viola! bad thoughts of tortured animals.

I could only hope that they killed her quickly.


kymber said...

Phelan - i am glad to see some of my fave cronies and curmudgeons made it over here - teehee!

but i am really sad for all that you guys have been going through. you guys have not had it easy this past while and we all know that you take very good care of your animals.

thanks for always being brutally honest. i don't care much for "romantic" homesteaders - i come here and get the brutal, ugly, hurtful, honest truth. and for that, i thank you!

your friend,

Phelan said...

Thanks Kymber, for it all.

Jenn said...

Oh no :( Having livestock second thoughts are my biggest fear, and probably a huge part of why we will never make a profit farming. I would have been furious that they showed up unannounced too. But I'm cranky like that. I hope you feel better about it sooner and things start to smooth out!

Phelan said...

This is the first time I have taken issue with it. Usually it's simpler and I have no qualms. If he hadn't of hit her with a board, I would have been fine.

small farm girl said...

I know exactly how you feel.

Laura said...

Aww. That is the hard part about selling one's animals, livestock or not.

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