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Hi everyone! I know it's been forever since I've been around. Been super busy as always~ but mostly I didn't have anything new to contribute. Well~ I've had another Farm Lesson and since it's about a steer I thought I'd share it with y'all too~ it's long so move on if you get bored easily!

Where’s the beef
So~ it’s fall and everyone has been waiting to hear the misadventures we seem to always find ourselves in while taking the beef to the butcher. This year I was SURE there would be no story to tell. I planned ahead~ after the “Emu Incident” last Spring we all agreed “Get him!” is a poor plan. So in preparation for the annual hauling of the beef to the butcher I planned ahead~ and I *thought* we were ready for this. The first two steers went in on Tuesday~ it was a thing of beauty~ well choreographed and superbly performed... I set up the trailer~ we swept the steers into it, the sight barrier to discourage early exit from the trailer worked as planned, the steers got to the butcher and were unloaded with a minimum of stress to us or the steers. Woot! We got this!
So~ Friday morning….
I got the trailer arranged~ we swept the steer into it…it was all going according to plan~ like a well oiled machine….right before the machine slings a rod. Or more precisely right before the steer jumps out of the trailer!!!
We were serenely driving down the mountain laughing and joking about how upsetting it was a year ago when a steer jumped out of our trailer AT the butcher~ then Carol begins sputtering something like “He’s out! He’s OUT!! OH MY GOD HE’S OUT!!” I’m laughing~ clueless and amused when suddenly it occurs to me…
“Come again? He’s out? Of the trailer? Like Now?” We are going 35 mph down a mountain! WHY would he jump out NOW. The sight barrier is in place. He can’t see~ even if he WANTED to jump he would wait until we stopped, the moving trailer should make it impossible to hold his footing, much less flat foot leap out of a moving vehicle….driving down a MOUNTAIN!! “Excuse me…come again? He is out of the TRAILER?!?”
Apparently Carol had been looking in the side view mirror just in time to see the front leg of the steer hanging out of the back of the trailer (and if he had a middle finger he would have been flipping her off~ she got the message loud and clear just the same) and the steer JUMPED OUT OF THE TRAILER!
It’s a good thing she saw it too~ cuz I missed it. I would have driven the rest of the way to the butcher clueless~ opened the back of the trailer and been like “Where’s the Beef?”
So Carol is in the passenger seat having a little meltdown chanting “He’s out! He’s out! He’s out!”, I’m in the drivers seat clueless and the SUV behind us will NEVER TAILGATE ANYONE EVER AGAIN! Carol finally manages to convince me that the steer is in fact out~ I can now see him in the rearview mirror stumbling to his feet. “OH! He’s OUT!”
So we turn around and attempt to recapture him. Not surprisingly he wants NOTHING to do with us. No he does not want a horse cookie~ No you may not touch the steer~ and most definitely NO he will not get back in that trailer! Finally, we chase him into THE WORLDS WORST BRIAR PATCH.
I don’t care what kind of briar patch you’ve been into~ you don’t understand~ just trust me~ THE WORLDS WORST MOST TANGLED BRIAR PATCH.
NOW it’s time to panic. I called Scott told him to bring a gun~ lots of guns~ all our guns!
I called my butcher and asked if the steer had to be alive when I brought him in ~stupid federal regulations….yes~ they must see the steer WALK in. I tried telling them he was a BIG BLACK DEER>>>A BEEFY DEER!! But they wouldn’t fall for it~ the steer has to WALK IN. Carol suggested we shoot the steer~ then go get my new tractor~ we could rig him up on the boom and she would work his front legs while Scott worked his back legs…he could “Walk In” that way…seemed reasonable to me but my butcher didn’t really seem to think so.
I called the my vet and told him I need him to come with either a tranquilizer or a really big bullet (and a gun that could shoot a really big bullet) my vet explained if he tranquilized the steer we wouldn’t be able to butcher for at least a couple weeks to months (make the meat taste bitter). The truth is~ the steer had jumped out of a moving trailer ~ he was hurt-pretty bad~ I wasn’t sure he would survive to work the tranquilizer out, and I did feel bad about the fact that he was hurt.
I finally called my hay guy “Jason.” I was expecting a hay delivery Friday afternoon and I was pretty sure we were gonna have to shoot the steer and take him home to dress out ourselves so I wouldn’t be able to unload the hay. Jason is a super nice guy~ says “well where are you? I’ll come help!” I mean really~ what a nice guy! If he’d know what he was in for he might not have volunteered so easily.
So finally~ there we are~ Me, Carol, Scott and Jason. The steer is about 10 feet in a briar patch so thick if you don’t know where he is you can’t see him. The only thing we are sure of is we don’t want to drive him further into the briars. I keep asking “what’s the plan?” but no one has one. I really wanted a plan…no plan lands Cheryl in the ER announcing “I’ve done something stupid and I need antibiotics.” But the only plan we had was don’t let him get further into the briars. Of course~ we had not been in the briars so we didn’t know …now I’m not sure he COULD get further in. They were THAT thick! So Scott wades into the briars to one side of him and Carol wades into the other side. I dive in at an angle~ and literally it’s like diving. I push forward trying to bull my way through until too many ropes are hung up on me~ at which time I have to throw myself forward into a horizontal position so I can crawl OVER the mass that currently has stretched into an impenetrable wall ~ then I can scramble up and take a couple more steps before repeating the throw myself forward technique. I’ve got a broom (I don’t know why) But it IS helping. I use it to stuff in front of the steer trying to drive him back OUT of the briars so Jason can throw a rope on him (and then what? No one knows~ we don’t have a plan). I don’t really know what everyone else is doing at this point but I suspect it was pretty much the briar diving experience for us all. Finally we’ve chased the steer enough that he is also caught in ropes of briars~ I’m reasonably close to him when Jason yells “Get Him!”
Get Him? Really? So…Naturally that’s what I do. I JUMPED ON THE STEER’S HEAD~I’m no light weight any longer~ the steer went down. I’ve got him around the throat and I’ve thrown my entire body down on him~ “I”VE GOT HIM!! I’VE GOT HIM!!! OH CRAP NOW WHAT!!!” I felt a body behind me slam into the steer and shout “Hold on!”
So~ the steer is down~ about 15 feet into the worst briar patch in the world. I’m clinging to his head~ I’m wrapped so tightly in ropes of briar that I can’t turn my head more than 2 inches to either side. I couldn’t get up if I wanted to~ there are too many brambles and ropes of briar holding me down. I know Jason is behind me on the steers chest~ I think he is also stuck. But on the bright side if neither Jason or I could get up….the steer wasn’t gonna get any deeper into the briars.
Scott passed me a rope…which I could not get over the steers head~ the angles were impossible and the ropes of briar too strong to twist out of. I finally passed the rope UNDER his neck … So now we had the steer roped! “Now what?”
Scott tried to send Carol to our house for a machete. We don’t own a machete. We might have once…but I know we don’t now. I think one of the boys has it. I said so but only Jason could hear me. Carol said she didn’t know where it was. I said “cuz we don’t own one.” Scott tried to tell her where~ I helpfully volunteered “there is not a machete there” but again no one but Jason heard me. Scott decided to go after the machete and I tried shouting “Get some clippers we don’t own a machete!”…but you get the idea.
So Jason and I laid on the steer. The steer was bleeding from his mouth and his eye wheeled around to look at me some but mostly he just laid there. I felt bad for him~ but I couldn’t get off him and I was convinced if I could get off him he would stomp me into a greasy spot in the briar patch.
Ever helpful Carol twisted the briars apart working on a path while we waited on Scott and some weapon worthy of cutting into the worlds worst briar patch (as we don’t own a machete). Suddenly she pops up with “Jason gonna have to tell his wife that he spent all day laying around in the bushes with a red head!” Ok~ that was funny! But really? I don’t hurt enough at this point your gonna get Jasons wife to hunt me down! LOL!
At one point I looked at my left hand and observed out loud that there was a spider on my hand. I was a little freaked out that I couldn’t reach the spider with my right hand to brush it away~ but then Jason chimed in with “It’s good that you can’t see the rest of them” and I stopped worrying about the ONE spider I could SEE.
Finally Scott gets back with a saw and some clippers! He says “guess what?” and I popped off with “we don’t own a machete” at the same moment Scott said “I don’t think we have a machete any more” It was a funny moment~ trust me!
So Scott and Carol cut a path to us~ then cut the ropes holding us down. It was so tight Carol actually clipped the steers ear a bit trying to get the briars holding me down on him. So now we can move and we are ready for action! Jason tells me to back up slowly (really…every muscle I have is in spasm…I could hardly move at all much less quickly!) Then Jason flings himself off the steer! We are expecting him to jump up in a snarling flame spewing fury and stomp us into oblivion!
The steer laid there and rolled his eye.
Did he die? Nope~ he’s still breathing. Well…poke him. Well Poke him harder!
Finally the steer gets up and all four of us try to PULL that rope I noosed around his neck to get him in the trailer. Nope~ nothing doing. He doesn’t take ONE SINGLE STEP, not even ONE STEP! He holds his ground in the briars….then falls out!
Did he die now? Nope~ he’s still breathing and rolling his eye at us.
Ok~ so now people are starting to notice us on the side of the road~ landscaping and choking out a cow…and a couple more people Jason knows stop to help out. We tie a rope to his back feet to drag him out with Jasons truck…but of course the rope breaks.
Naturally~ didn’t we all see that coming? I swear I couldn’t make this stuff up~ it really happens!
So now the steer is in the path we cut into the worlds worst briar patch folded in half with his back legs tied together. “Did he die now? Nope~ still breathing and rolling that eye at us.
Jasons very nice friend goes and gets some chains! Now were cooking with peanut oil! They rig the chains up to the steer and drag him out of the worlds worst briar patch by his back legs~ over stubs and stabs~ he’s looking pretty bad by the time they got him up to the side of the road.
Did he die now? Well….maybe….I don’t see him breathing…but wait! He rolls his eye up and looks at me…He’s alive! A couple more young men stop to help now. We’ve finally got the steer right behind my trailer~ he’s down but in position. Poke him…nope. Poke him harder…nope. Grab his head and pick it up~ grab fist fulls of the cow and pull up. Scott and Jason tried to pick him up ~and got remarkably far considering that steer had to weigh about 700lbs! I hit him with my broom! Nothing.
We’ve gotten so far~ but if we can’t get him in that trailer we can’t get him to WALK into the butcher. Finally the youngest man starts bouncing his knees off the steers back and I’m thinking “that’s not gonna work” but he explained that it stimulates the spine somehow….I don’t know…what I do know is the steer GOT UP!! And refused to get in that trailer! Now there are 8 or 9 of us~ we have a rope tied halter style to his head (whoever did that it was nifty you gotta teach me how you did that!) the young man who bounced on his back grabbed his tail and twisted then he got IN THE TRAILER!!!!
So Scott tied him in the trailer (no more acrobatics for you!) and we drove like a bat out of hell for the butcher! Carol called and told them we were coming in fast (they told me if I hadn’t painted the cow jumping over the moon on the trailer that he wouldn’t have got the idea)~we flew into the loading bay….and wouldn’t you know it…now he wouldn’t get OUT of the trailer! We spent ALL DAY getting him IN the trailer and now he’s just peachy keen in there and doesn’t want to come OUT!! Beg, whine, pray, push, pull…we eventually got him out of the trailer. They sent him through in a hurry, so his big adventure could end quickly.
I am covered with scratches and punctures~ and something other than me was alive in my pants. Thank God it was just a couple ants (ants in my pants…Ha Ha!) Something in my hair BIT ME! I made Carol remove it and she claims it was just another briar~ but I’m still worried about those spiders. I look like I’ve done battle with a couple dozen psychotic cats on speed and I’m not sure how many more live things have taken residence up in my clothing~ but the annual hauling of the beef to the butcher is over for 2014!
For those waiting for it~
This weeks Farm lesson is….
Having a plan is good~ but it’s more important to know “where’s the beef”?
 

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Holy cow jumping over the moon, Batman!

Cheryl, I have really missed you. :)
As usual, thank goodness for Carol.
You two make quite a team.

The best tasting hamburger meat EVER, right there.
Thanks for sharing.

How many are you growing out for next year? :teehee:
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Good to see you too!
I've got 5 more to grow out for 2015~ and you can be sure I'll be making more changes to the trailer~ gonna replace that tailgate cover I used as a sight barrier with some big sturdy wooden doors and paint "Where's the Beef?" on them! LOL! 2016 is looking a bit slimmer~ I've had bad, bad, bad luck with the calves this year. I've got a couple necropsied and a couple I know what happened~ but every time it comes down to "Bad luck" and I've only got one calf coming up for 2016 beef the way it stands right now.

How are YOU doing ? Hope your having a great year!!
 

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You sure know how to tell a story! Very good account!

Fix that trailer. I'm trying to envision a trailer a critter can jump out of, but all that comes to mind is the open topped ones like you see in Texas, with a canvas canopy on top. (Or a few rags flappin' in the wind, what's left of the canopy)
 
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Discussion Starter #7
This is the trailer~ last year I had one jump out at the processor~ which is why I bought that tailgate net and sewed in a piece of heavy fabric~ the idea was that it's a pretty high jump to start with and not being able to see where he's going should stop one trying to jump. The moving trailer should have also made that pretty much impossible I thought~ the one that jumped last year had been standing in the trailer for about an hour considering his options before he went ahead and vaulted those back doors (thats why I painted the cow on the trailer~ fair warning to tail gaiters!) But now I'm gonna ditch the tailgate cover all together and build big wooden doors and screw them on up there!
 

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I calls em like I sees em
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Aha, the old 2-horse with divider removed. Shoulda thought of that, it's what we started out with.

Some kind of heavy duty wire mesh, like a hog panel or one side of a big dog crate? That's close to what our stock trailer has built in to the door at the top, a heavy duty welded (?) wire panel.
 

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Oh boy....you need to find curtains for that model of trailer....course they are a pain to find anymore, took me over a year to find a two horse with the curtains still on! they sure can jump, can't they....
 

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OMG I have to haul a beef in a couple of weeks!! Please don't let Curley jump out while we go down the mountain.
 

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I agree use the proceeds from the book to buy a decent stock trailer this all may be funny looking back but what if the car behind you had hit him on the road ?
 
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