Sumter the Texas Long Horn

Hempstead, TX(Zone 8a)

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.

Thumbnail by MelissahL
Hempstead, TX(Zone 8a)

Another image sans Sumter.

Thumbnail by MelissahL
Baker City, OR(Zone 5b)

Nice story, Melissah, and I am glad it had a happy ending. Good neighbors are heaven sent! A large piece of moving yard art. lol. That's gonna get old after a while. Maybe you could give him a bovine friend and eventually turn them out together.

Prophetstown, IL(Zone 5a)

wonderful (happy) story Melissa - farm neighbors are the best

Hughesville, MO(Zone 5a)

I'm so thankful this story had a happy ending. Yes, most farmers are good to pitch in and help in times of trouble.

Panama, NY(Zone 5a)

That's what country living is all about. I'm sorry about your steer, but I'm glad you were able to learn what good neighboring really is. I agree with Mary, get him a bovine buddy asap.

Hempstead, TX(Zone 8a)

He does need a bovine friend, I agree. He and my old horse Pal get along together. But I have a young 4 year old bay colt that wants to herd Sumter. As Mini-Me is a cow horse, he is only doing what he knows.

Thanks for reading my story and for the advice.


Paris, TN(Zone 6b)

Awwww he's so cute! I learn something every time I log in to Dave's. I never knew that calves could become that attached to their substitute 'family'. At least you'll get a lot of great fertilzer in your yard from your moving yard art :)

Great story with a wonderful ending, and an outstanding example of helpful friends and neighbors. Thanks for sharing it - look forward to Sumnter and his buddy pics!

Northern California, CA(Zone 9b)

Your thread on the Millie the dog and her puppies touched my heart so I began reading your other threads. I must say you are on such an exciting adventure! Such a life change. And it sounds like you love the farm life!!

I was wondering how your sweet Sumter was doing?

Hempstead, TX(Zone 8a)

Hi Kell -

Thank you. Yes, it has been quite an adventure I must admit. I am learning to roll with the punches a little better and am also learning to slow down. The easterner in me always wants to hurry things up. I am finding that patience is one of the keys to be successful here.

My dear little Sumter had to be moved. He was somewhat difficult to handle as he grew (my fault, really). However, I have a new baby bull coming in January and I will pair him with one of my baby heifers so they can be weaned together. Woolly Bully and the yet unnamed heifer will be raised here at the farm, and when the time is right, I will turn them out with my small herd. I helped some friends of mine bottle him and get him well so they are giving him to me as a "gift." They already have a full grown bull as do I (Max), but they know how much I like raising baby calves with issues. Woolly was termed a "dumby calf" at birth b/c he had no suckle reflex. I hate that name but that is what they are called around here.

When he is full grown, I will use him as a lease bull. He is Maine Anjou/Angus crossed. A pretty little boy.

Again, thanks for the note.

In Peace,

Thumbnail by MelissahL
Social Circle, GA(Zone 8a)

How is old Pal?

Hempstead, TX(Zone 8a)

Jenks - Wow, that is when I first met you, when I got Pal. Ole Pal is about 25 or 26 years old. Maybe older, we really don't know. I was able to ride him for about 18mos, but he has so many foot issues, that I thought it was time to retire him. He looks good and feels good, but he continues to have a very soft sole. He is always the companion to newcomers - like the little calves.

About a year ago, I bought a little 3 year old bay colt - Quarter Horse. "Mini-Me" as he is called, is a great ranch horse, with a soft eye, will take care of his rider (any age and level can ride him), but he also has an edge when an experienced rider is astride.

Social Circle, GA(Zone 8a)

It was a while back! I know you've mentioned the new(er) horse before! I'm glad Pal got you, and you got him! It seems you are the rescue in the area aren't you? :D

You go.

Post a Reply to this Thread

Please or register to post.

Upload Images to your reply

    You may upload up to 5 images