Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Taking the time to catch up

Trouble creates a capacity to handle it.
                         Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr.

Things are hopping around here. The calves are coming steadily and that means there is a lot to do. We have seven calves at the time this was being written. That may change by the time I get outside, at first light. It is early here and I am taking a bit of time to enjoy a coffee while I write this.

On Sunday, My Hero and I walked into the bush to check the cows and the familiar Gobble gobble brought a smile to my face. As I stepped into the bush I could hear them in front of me. I grabbed my camera and walked slowly. There happened to be a cow with a calf there so I was distracted by that. Then I saw a coyote, another distraction. I yelled at the coyote, and then right above my head, turkeys flew off. Trees full of turkeys. They had been roosting in the trees. They are very clever.

You are now wondering about that coyote; are you not?
Well, that coyote has been around here for years. It is not a threat to the cattle or to me. If it was, we would have seen that trouble a long time ago. There was however, a problem that I am not so sure about. Two more coyotes have been snooping around. They do not hang out with this coyote.

One morning, I thought a calf had twins so I headed over to check it out. It was our resident coyote. It walked around the cow. Neither the cow nor the calf worried. If they are not worried, I am not worried. Cow mothers have good instincts. I scared it off and continued on with my checks.
The next morning, on my morning check I was walking on the ridge when I heard a calf blat. If you have ever heard a calf blat, you will never forget it. They are loud. All of our cows charged down the ridge into the bush. I followed. 

There, two coyotes that I had never seen before ran off as fast as they could go. One of those coyotes had a limp. There was something wrong with its back leg. To, me it looked like someone had possibly shot at it or it had been trapped at one time.

The calf that had let out that warning was standing with his Mom, in the middle of a force to be reckoned with "army" of cows. Those coyotes just kept on running across the neighbours field. My theory is that those coyotes happened to get too close to a sleeping calf and to have startled it. If there had been some kind of altercation there would have been signs. Coyotes’ are clever and cows can be aggressive when they need to be. 

The coyotes have lots to eat here. If they wanted to take down a calf, they certainly have had many chances to do so. There are turkeys, lots of turkeys. There are rodents, lots of rodents, and there are lots of deer. At this time I am not going to worry, till I have to. My hope is that they were just passing through and I will not see those two strangers again. If I do we will have to make a decision as to what to do.

As you can see, there does not appear to be any mothers or their babies worried.

In the meantime, I will keep you all updated as to the happenings here on the farm, when I can. I have my hands full. I thought that you would like to see some cute photos of those calves. These beautiful faces greet me every day. This makes me happy. I will post when I can. The sun is going to be up in an hour so I best get moving.



  1. Happy cows, happy babies...nasty coyotes. It would be so difficult to trap would be worried about one of your animals stepping in a trap and being injured. I guess shooting them is the best way to go????

  2. Oh lucky you to see such cute faces! Good story about the coyotes, not all have to be shot....they have plenty to eat here too. I hope the rest of your calving season goes good!

  3. I have never seen a coyote near a cow, and it not react. That is very interesting. We have so many cattle and coyotes around here. We have wolves too, and although they have never killed anyone's livestock, they are feared and killed if seen. The wolves are huge, and I understand the fear, but I feel terrible for them. When I found out why they were coming around the farms, I felt even worse. Apparently on huge farms, 1000 head plus, dead pits are common. They are close enough to be convenient, but far enough from the yard that the smell shouldn't reach. I learnt about this after a friend showed me a picture of a wolf that had been recently killed. That was over 3 years ago, and I can't get it out of my head. The coyote being near your cows reminded me of that story for some reason. Anyway, I truly hope you have no trouble with them. They are great for keeping rodents down, especially gophers whose holes can be treacherous for cattle.
    All my best to you through this busy season. I look forward to seeding more baby pictures.

  4. We have coyotes around here as well but I haven't seen or heard them in a while, maybe because it's winter and the windows are closed all the time. I shared a photo of an animal track on my blog today which looks more like a big cat than a coyote and we do have lots of deer around. Either animal sneaking around kind of unnerves me. I'm glad you have lots of other critters for the coyotes to eat other than your cows! Pam

  5. Isn't nature grand, how all of these animals seem to know how to take care of themselves, and each other? I hope the two new "coyote strangers" don't pose a threat to any of your farm critters--including you! Take care of yourself while you're in the midst of all of this activity. Hugs.

  6. Hadn't thought about the risk to the calves from the coyotes but it does make sense. Hopefully the cows will keep seeing them off though!

  7. Awwww . . . love the pictures.
    The calves are so sweet . .
    You are a busy girl with all those new babies . . .
    How many now???

  8. Love the pictures - and suspect that the cows know who their enemies are.
    Look after yourself as well as the cows, their babies and your hero.

  9. I'm loving the mental image I have of those cows all stampeding toward and surrounding their baby to protect him/her. Protecting babies is such a strong instinct, no matter what the species.

  10. The photos of your cows and calves make me want to cry and laugh for joy. Something about cows just do that to me, I can't really explain it, except that when I see cows in real life in fields I get excited and happy. Maybe it is their peaceful lifestyle, their gentle sweet faces that I see in your photos.

    Hope the coyotes are on their way elsewhere.

    Happy Spring ~ FlowerLady

  11. My you must be busy with all those news calves. What a sweet time of the year to be born. That is neat though that the visiting Coyote doesn't seem to harm your cattle. Hopefully those others will wander somewhere else.


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