Saturday, November 05, 2005
Well, it finally happened. Dave was knocked down by the herd bull. I guess Davey (bull) was trying to mount a Tanner Holstein while going out the door. Before he ripped the pipeline down, Dave (husband) tried to get him off the cow. Bull came down, just not on the side Dave anticipated.
It is dicey having a bull, but getting animals bred back is not easy in NY. I don't know if it is the lepto from deer or rats, mineral deficiency, or if there is something else that is just off. Guiness (kerry bull) was getting old and the sore foot he got from an organic dairy farmer I loaned him to seemed to cause him troubles. Cows just kept coming back into heat. Chuck (another organic dairy farmer) told me about a nice shorthorn bull he had that could he had for the season. On the big size, but his temper was decent and he minded in the barn.
Dairy farmers have these rules about bulls. Women who are menstruating should not be around a bull... When they walk with purpose, ship them... Don't keep a Jersey long, they go mean the fastest... There are variations on this theme, but the deal is that you just cannot trust a bull. One farmer I worked with showed scars from a bull. He got that hugging a pipeline when that animal tried to kill him. Decent in the morning, not so good that night.
Now Davey wasn't trying to me mean. He just had a girl in heat and something had to be done. No opportunity can be lost. His size is a problem however. Like a toddler who could go under the table one day, and hits his head, things change and everyone can get hurt.
Dave was just brought to his knees. Could have had any one of the animals on top of him. With knee surgery last year and issues with a hernia (that he will not fix), a big bump by a bull can be devestating to him physically and us financially.
I wish we had a bull pen and yard. It is the best way to manage a bull. Older ones with good genetics can be kept longer and there is less likelihood of someone getting hurt.