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Farm Life: Sumter the Texas Long Horn

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MelissahL
Hempstead, TX
(Zone 8a)

July 10, 2008
6:43 PM

Post #5236436

Some time has passed since I have been in touch with the DG farm life. We have been here in Monaville, Tx for almost four years. I cannot believe how fast the time has passed. About a year after moving here, I joined DG, stay involved for a while, and found the site an oasis. So, first I offer a belated thank you to all of you.

I moved here from NYC and my husband moved back from the Middle East after a 14 year stint. We bought this ranch - complete with a barn, a hay shed, a house, and 35 acres. I had been living in an apt. for many years, so 35 acres might as well have been a million. But I have learned to raise hay, keep my small herd of beef cattle content, mommas are having their babies, and in general, all is well.

The purpose of this missive is to share a story of farm life.

About two weeks ago, I turned my steer calf out to join the herd. I checked on him regularly, and tho he was not with the herd, he was in the shade and was eating. On the third day, I went out in the morning to check on him, and there he was splayed out in the hot sun, right in the middle of the feeding area.

Neighbors came over and we managed to get his 600lb body in a trailor, and I took him home. The first two days I gave him 6000ml of fluid with vitamins; The vet sent over some dex, thiamine, and banamine. Sumter (the calf) ate and drank, but could not get up.

The story is no different than others - when a cow or calf goes down, it is scary. Here where I live, the old cowboys call it the "buckles." It has to do with the weaning process. Since I bottled him, and he thinks he is a dog b/c he was raised with our 8, the stress of being separated from me and his herd was just too much.

Then, along comes my friend Tina, her husband Mike and "Dr. Kubota". A sling was constructed out of cinches that go on saddles; a rope, lead pipe, chain, and the big bucket of the tractor were woven together. We all managed to get Sumter on the sling, cranked up the tractor and raised the bucket. He was up!! After 2 days of raising and lowering him, allowing him to stand longer and longer and take more weight, he managed on his own to walk out of the sling. (images are attached).

He is now well and strong as ever; but, he will not be moved over to the big pasture again. He will, I guess, become a large piece of moving yard art.

There is a point here: I was so blessed to have people come to help me and Gary - without hesitation. Further, they touched based every day and came over for a visit. (I spent a lot of time in the barn). At that point, I knew I was now home.

My thanks to the forum for providing me a space to tell my story.

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