Friday, February 12, 2010

Well that guy must be a ......

Well I made it through today and so did the cows and family. I started the morning early by feeding and checking the special needs cows. After stopping by my mothers house to chat about a few things and to see if she had any newly baked products I was on the road. I headed to Hermiston Oregon to help with the BBQ held in conjunction with LGW ranch bull sale. Lon and Sheri Wadekamper have an excellent purebred Angus program and you could see that today in the buyer turnout and prices paid for their bulls. The Wadekampers are also stalwart supporters of the cattle industry so it was an honor to help them today.

As I traveled today I marveled at a trait inherent to humans in my non biased opinion based on observations. It makes no difference where you are from, what you do for a living, what your background is or your political leanings. This trait is not dependent on your race, color, creed, religion or if you prefer Burger King or McDonalds. This condition affects you no matter what your gender, age, marital status or education level completed is. If you prefer a Toyota Prius, a King Ranch F350, a Chevy Malibu or a unicycle has no bearing on this trait. You can be a Wall Street stockbroker, a day care provider, a cowman or an illegal drug dealer and this will still afflict you.

What I am speaking of is a humans amazing ability to make knee jerk judgments to sum up a person in a vacuum based on preconceived notions. I am often guilty of this offense myself. Usually I am not as harsh in judgment as many would be but still I make judgments based solely upon looks, dress, age, gender and total demeanor. I will even do this on a day when the people are in general the same type of person like today at a bull sale. The simple fact of someone having a certain type and shape of a cowboy hat, certain boots, jeans and even what kind of vehicle they drive will skew who, what and where someone is from in my mind. As long as a person remembers that a notion may be close it is often not the “be all to end all.”

As I sped through the urban area of the Tri cities today I wondered what people thought of me and what judgments they would make. A man with a moustache in a flatbed, wearing a cowboy hat, driving a mud covered pickup with 3 bales of hay on the back. Just based on that information alone most would assume I am a cowboy, rancher, hay salesman or mental patient. They would be correct on 3 counts out of four but how would they know I am not a hay salesman? If I put my hat on Bill Gates and tossed him into my pickup would people make a different judgment just because he does not have a moustache? If I shaved, put on a suit, glasses and was driving a Lexus would people make a different assumption as to who I am?

I think we need to take some time to make better judgments of who someone is or what they represent. Someone I consider to be as much of a cowman as anyone else drove to the bull auction in a Lexus today. It would be my guess that someone on the New York stock exchange was either wearing a cowboy hat or cowboy boots today and did not know the difference between a Hereford and a heifer and their mind would have totally blown if they knew there was such a thing as Hereford Heifers! Sometimes I think cattle know that humans make these preconceived assumptions.

Yesterday I noticed cow number 4207y was very close to calving. She is a 15 year old cow that has been a great producer. Her daughter last year is 9207y which is one of Dakotas picks as a replacement heifer (see post who is your momma January 17, 2010) When I arrived at the spring calving cows tonight I noticed 4207y aka Rainbow definitely had a new calf. Her teats were clean, sucked down and she also has the tell tale sign of some red afterbirth dried to the underside of her tail. As I fed I noticed Rainbow kept bawling and looking in a general direction. I made a tag for her calf and began to search in the general direction of where she had indicated her new calf was.

When I got to the area I expected the calf to be the cow came running which made me think I was close to the calf. I spent over 30 minutes driving and another 20 minutes on foot and still could not find the calf I knew she had. It was getting close to dark and I had pretty much given up knowing that she had been nursed and the calf was fine and I would find it tomorrow. I also knew that tomorrow it would likely be too fast to catch which meant another tag on my dash and more ridicule from my daughter.

I pulled out of the field and was out closing the gate when I found her calf. He had been lying under a tumble weed close to the gate and I had driven within 20 feet of him when I entered the field. Off in the distance Rainbow continued to act like she was looking for her calf where I had left her. I knew this was her calf by the way its body type was and the roan speckling on its belly. The calf ran right to me and it was easy to catch and apply the tag, give it a selenium injection and spray its navel with iodine. The whole time Rainbow acted like she was looking but knowing where her calf was over 300 yards away. When I applied the ear tag the calf let out a bellow and this made his momma end her charade and come running.

When mom and child reunited I was very glad I had not made any preconceived notions as to where the calf was or if its mother knew where it was or if its mother did in fact even have a calf, yeah right.

Today’s real environmentalist species found on the ranch is redroot pigweed aka Amaranthus retroflexus.

Today’s picture is calf number 0001y son of 7001y. This calf was born among the yearlings because his mother although tame thinks single hotwire fences are for jumping.