Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Mia and Aunt Maria

Meet Mia and Aunt Maria.

** Sorry for the lack of pics.  It was too hot today to get any... but no fear, there will be plenty of photo opportunities in my near future! **

They are heifers we raised this year.  And I am now in full halter breaking mode.  They probably resent me for this, but they love it when I scratch their backs.  So it's a love-hate kind of relationship we have developed.

I suppose I should start at the beginning.  I use to show cattle.  And I miss showing and working with cattle very much.  So much in fact, that I decided to jump head first into prepping a heifer or two for the Illinois Beef Expo shorthorn sale.  It's in February.  That gives me 5 months to get these sweet babies tame, hairy, and looking like well fed show heifers.

The halter breaking started with a bang.  Literally, the bang as Aunt Maria leaped into the cattle chute as she tried to make a break for it through the opening.  They weren't exactly willing to have their heads subjected to their new entrapment.  But we got the halters on, with the aid of said chute, and had them tied up in no time.

Then I left the heifers to their pouting and no doubt startled little selves for a couple of hours to come to terms with the halters.  They were jumpy and hateful, and I didn't want to do too much too soon.

After those few hours had passed, I made my way out to the barn to see if they had settled down at all.  They hadn't much.  But my dad and I charged full steam ahead and approached them with yummy hay in their feeders and a brush in our hand.  It went something like this...

"Whoa girl, easy", brush, jump, "Whoa girl", pull back, jump, wriggle around, "I'm not going to hurt you", brush, jump, brush, jump, "whoaaaa", brush, brush, brush, brush...

Once the brushing started, it was like the feel good button was pushed.  And they stood there, still in shock, but with glazed over eyes in a brushing trance.

The second day went better.  I caught each heifer with out using the chute and was even able to approach Mia and scratch her back for a bit.  She's a sweetie and soon would proceed to lick the side of my jeans.  Over the past few years of not showing, I've really come to really appreciate the lack of calf slobber on the side of my jeans.  They hate the halters, and probably me, but they love the brush.  Thank goodness for the brush.

Now you're wondering why the heck are their names Mia and Aunt Maria.  Well they are related.  Mia's mother happens to be Aunt Maria's half maternal sister.  So this makes Aunt Maria... well it makes her Mia's half maternal aunt.  I'll leave you with that piece of info to sort out in your heads.

And as mentioned above, I promise to be back with pictures soon!

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