Ellie Moo got a great compliment!!!!!!

Discussion in 'Cattle' started by needstoknowmore, Dec 14, 2006.

  1. needstoknowmore

    needstoknowmore Rattlin Rock Ranch

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    My horse shoer was here again this morning. He has heard of and seen Ellie before. And one day when she was looking at him, he asked where the blind calf was. I told him that was the one that was looking at him. Ok, so she wasn't really looking at him. So this morning he is watching the calves. And Ellie finds her way around the pen, and then into their shelter. And he asked me which one was blind. I pointed Ellie out. And he said that she sure gets around good and must be pretty smart!!!!!!!! :) :) :) Made me very happy!!!! With our weather right now I am very happy that she is able to find the shelter on her own. Keeps me from worrying so much about her!!!!!
     
  2. agmantoo

    agmantoo agmantoo Supporter

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    I suggest that you put a small bell on the seeing calf and in so doing the blind calf can always find her companion. Her companion will seek shelter, water, food, etc and the blind calf will be near provided she can hear.
     

  3. lgslgs

    lgslgs Well-Known Member

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    How wonderful for Eliie Moo!

    Sounds like she has a good mental picture (or scent and sound map) of her pen and shelter.

    I bet you are sure proud of her today. :)


    Hubby and I were discussing Ellie Moo again last night and commenting about how wonderful it is that you not only have the ability to keep her as a pet, you are able to keep Lizzy as a pet as well. It's nice when their job is just to grow up and be cows.

    What great news.

    Lynda
     
  4. needstoknowmore

    needstoknowmore Rattlin Rock Ranch

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    Do I have expencive pets? :shrug: But she is worth it. One way I am looking at it is, I am starting my own little herd. And raising these two have taught me a lot. Hands on experience is worth more than all the books printed. I have worked hard over the last few years to get all my animals to be productive or useful in someway, but there are a couple of exceptions. I made sure that when I bought Lizzy that she wasn't a free martin, and would be able to have babies for me some day. I know I would have to seperate them for that to happen. I still have some time to think about this. And it may never happen.

    Even though the pen Ellie is in now is not round. She seems to have figured out where the fence is. She has no trouble finding her shelter, hay, water, or minerals. I did look into putting a bell on Lizzy. I found where I could get one, what I would use to put it on her. But where she is now, she doesn't need it. If and or when I get them into a larger pasture, it may be needed.
     
  5. lgslgs

    lgslgs Well-Known Member

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    We actually jumped at the chance to get our Connie because she IS a freemartin. So far that seems to be giving us the benefits of female temperament without having to deal with cow PMS - perfect for a Lady Ox. :)

    I don't ever see us as animal breeders. There's enough health things to worry about without us having to worry about losing a cow (or doe) and a calf (or kid). All of our animals contribute to the homestead with various forms of work and in land maintenance, but they are also all going to have lifetime homes here - so they do end up being family pets.

    I do enjoy being able to give a home to an animal that would be worthless to folks who raise livestock as their livelihood. We were so lucky to find a week old, polled freemartin calf to mooove some logs, do some cow riding, moooooooo the lawn for us, and make high quality contributions to our compost heap for the next couple of decades. She's such a sweetie, though, that she'd have a home here even if she was just a good natured lawn ornament. :)

    Pet cows are cool.

    Lynda
     
  6. LMonty

    LMonty Well-Known Member

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    NTKM- I'm totally brainstorming here- I dont know if this would work....it would depend a lot on how sensitive a sense of smell cows have,and I admit to being totally clueless about that.

    Is it possible to scent train her?

    For example, get a couple of small vials of a very strong essential oil. Place a rag up high in her shelter where no critter can reach it, but you can get to it. Every few days use a few more drops of the same oil, so that she comes to assosciate a scent with a place- ie, have a eucalyptus oil for her shelter, and rig up something similar for the food area (different scent) and then the water (Another different scent) If they have noses sensitive enough, it might help her zero in on each important location.choose strong scents that she wouldnt normally find anywhere else, so she wont get confused if theres a similar scent that comes about in nature- like, I wouldnt use mint if you have it gowing anywhre aroiund, or rose or soemthign like that. Maybe a citrus like grapefruit or orange oil is one idea (unless you walk around the area after eating one LOL). put it on objects they cant lick or chew, and use scents that are pleasing.

    as I said, I have no idea if it would work- but its pretty easy and cheap to try :) it may be a crazy idea, and I'd bet others much more experienced than i could let us know if its too nutz to even try. :help:
     
  7. lgslgs

    lgslgs Well-Known Member

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    Our cow is our best scent hound. I've never heard about tracking cows, but since she was little ours would actually put her nose to the ground and use it to trace the path the goats took and find the herd.

    We have lots of thickly wooded hills and twisty paths. In the summer the lines of sight can be so poor that you can be 15 feet away from the goat herd (8 of them) and not see them. Connie usually bellows and then turns her ears all around to listen for a response, but it is has been very uncommon for the goats to call back. (The goats usually keep silent when browsing further out and are more vocal only when close to the house.)

    It is a daily occurrence, though, for her to finish bellowing and then drop nose to the ground and trace the path the herd took. We've had a few times where I've gone out with the herd and my hubby and Connie follow us later. He's seen her scent at path intersections and then choose the path that I took. She definitely has learned to trust her nose.

    I'd expect most cows who are raised on open land with good lines of sight to the rest of the herd don't develop trailing skills - because they have no need to.

    Connie is a better scent hound than our dogs have ever been. The dogs tend to ground trail for a while but get distracted by a waft of air scent easily. (The have never been formally trained to ground scent only.) The air scent blows around and the dogs sometimes go off following breezes away from the scent source. Connie favors ground scent, and also for scent on brush along the sides of the paths - but I've never seen her go nose straight up to the winds when she's trailing. She does go nose up just to sample the prevailing scents while grazing, but not if she's trying to find someone.

    I can't wait to see all of the skills Ellie Moo develops as she learns to handle her environment. Hy Hubby and I keep coming back to the thought that so many beef cattle are killed where they are still fairly young, and many dairy cattle live in conditions where they are not facing a lot of mental and physical challenge each day. (Not that there's anything wrong with that - I'm not suggesting that all cattle have to be pets.) We wonder what a cow with a full natural lifetime and a rich, mentally stimulating environment can be capable of. I expect Ellie Moo will learn whatever she needs to learn to function in her home - and I bet she's already got some ideas about how to put her big nose to good use. :)

    I'm glad NTKM has that camera handy so we can keep an eye on Ellie Moo and Lizzy.

    Lynda
     
  8. LMonty

    LMonty Well-Known Member

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    cool, Lynda, thats great to know.

    I think the reason the idea came to mind was the idea of her following Lizzy everywhere. If for some reason lizzy wasnt there to lead her, or is she wanted something when Lizzy didnt it gave her a coping skill to use.

    I agree though, its amazing the coping skills critters come up with on their own!
     
  9. needstoknowmore

    needstoknowmore Rattlin Rock Ranch

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    I have tried watching her to see if I could figure out how she is able to find things so easily, and I haven't been able to tell. I can walk into her pen, and then walk to the middle of it, stand still and be quiet. Even being down wind from her, she can find me. I have never seen her use her nose like Connie does. But it's got to work. I know her ears work good. Using the scents might work good later on when I move them to a bigger pen. At one time I thought about trying that on the fence lines. The suggestion of putting something on the fence that makes noise also came up. But the way the wind blows here, the scent and noise would travel some distance. Ellie and Lizzy are good buddies. They sleep together, lick each other, play together and eat together. But are very indendent girls!!! Ellie is able to find her way without following Lizzy. How?? I wish I knew!!! If they where in a larger area it might be different. Hopefully come summer I will be able to find out.

    I wish I could post a video for you all to see. I have tried to load one of her first walk. It took over an hour to load and then I couldn't get it to work. Maybe if I ever get a high speed connection!!!!

    I am always open to suggestions or ideas to help the girls out!!!!
     
  10. mightybooboo

    mightybooboo Well-Known Member

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    Very interesting post,good luck to Ellie Moo!

    BooBoo :gromit:
     
  11. Christina R.

    Christina R. Well-Known Member

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    I love the video!! Even though it was months ago, I found myself clapping and cheering for her as she was taking her first steps. Today was our last day of school before the Christmas break, so the kids will have to wait until Jan. 3rd to see their little sweetie's video. Thanks for taking the persistence to get it posted.
     
  12. needstoknowmore

    needstoknowmore Rattlin Rock Ranch

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    I have been trying to get that to post for a few months. Once I got it loaded nobody could see it, not even me. I don't know what changed now. I am on a mission to get a new one. I would really like to get her kicking up her heals. But since I haven't even been able to get a pic of that, who knows if I can. I think I will settle for her just taking a stroll around her pen!!!!!