G.F. Ranch

The beginning of His vision

Joe Meister

on August 20, 2016

On March 26th, we added to our ranch!  And it was a huge blessing!!!  A friend sent me a text to tell share a post on Facebook she had come across of a guy giving away a free bottle calf.  Yes, free!  So I jumped onto Facebook and found the post.  There were already 4 or 5 people who had commented asking for it, but I put in my request anyways.  For the next 10 minutes I had this nagging feeling and was led to send him a PM.  I told him we home school and the reason behind that was so he knew we would be home to care for him.  And I shared that I felt it would be a great learning experience for my son.  I was shocked when he messaged back and said he was ours!

He was located 2 hours away which made the nice man a little hesitant.  He wasn’t sure if the calf would make it.  So what was Momma’s solution?  I asked him, “What if I have him in the truck with me?”  He must have thought I was crazy, but he said come get him.  The calf was 2 or 3 days old and the momma cow had died but he was unsure as to when and how long the calf had been on his own.

So I jumped in the truck and stopped at a feed store in Abilene to get milk replacement and a bottle and then headed to Snyder!  I tried to feed him before we loaded him up, but he wouldn’t have anything to do with it.  So Mr. B tied his legs up and we placed him on a comforter in the passenger seat.  Yes, I am that crazy…but it gets crazier!

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A little down the road the softy in me decided the rope looked too tight and uncomfortable (it’s at this point when I tell this to anyone who knows anything about hauling livestock, especially IN a vehicle, starts to shake their head) and I pulled over and freed his legs.  I sure did!

 

How cute is he???  Needless to say about 2 minutes later I pulled over again and re-tied his legs.  It was not easy getting those hoof prints off the leather seats and headrest.  Go ahead!  Take a moment and just picture it.  I’ve always said I tend to learn my lessons the hard way.  I tend to not repeat them that way!

I know with struggling babies, touch is very important and helpful.  So I spent most of the 2 hours home petting and rubbing him.  As I thought of what to name him, the only name that kept coming to me was Joey.  So that became his name and Bug nicknamed him Joe-Meister. I know so many people say don’t name animals you plan to eat, but I can’t have an animal without a name.  It’s part of my ‘love them well while you raise them’ philosophy. That is his buddy!  It is so cute to see them play together!  They run and play in the water (puddles) together!

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I don’t know if it is actually cheaper to raise a cow to eat, but at least we know what’s going into him!  We started out the first couple of days bottle feeding him and then my friend M asked if we would bring him over to put him on their nursing cow.  We were happy to as real milk is so much better for them.  It was real touch and go for the first few weeks,  Wasn’t sure if he would make it a few times.  He had severe scours but stayed on top of it with boluses and electrolytes.  When we knew he would be okay we brought Maybeline and Joey back to the ranch. He was able to nurse on her for a couple of months before she needed to go home and put him back on the bottle.

I’ll admit the first few months he was a little slow and special (as I like to call him).  He was so quiet…that is until Maybeline went home, then he got very vocal!  He is quite spunky with lots of character now.  It took forever to get him to eat feed.  Finally I decided he just needed to be weaned from the bottle.  After doing a bunch of research on different methods I decided to reduce the replacer by 10% each day until finally all he got was a bottle of straight water.

About 1/2 way through weaning he got scours again and the softy side of hubby came out and we kept him at a 50% ration for a couple of days.  I think the scours was due to the vaccination I gave him.  Once he wasn’t getting the bottle, he started eating feed and grazing.

He’s almost 5 months old and simply adorable!  He has lightened to a reddish-brown color and is getting a few white spots.  I will post updated pics soon.

Oh, I almost forgot to share how I told Hubby, as he was offshore, or maybe working in Houston when I got him.  Now mind you, I made a New Years resolution to not bring home any animals without Hubby’s knowledge and consent. However I proceeded without telling him because 1) I figured since I had already kin of broke that the week before (that’s for another post) and 2) It was a free cow!

So the next day I call Hubby and tell him we were blessed with some free Angus steak.  He was so excited and thankful. Then I said, “there’s not much right now, but he’s growing!”  I so crack myself up!  I heard a bit of an ughhhh and I could literally hear him shaking his head.  Maybe it was just in my head, but I heard it.  He wasn’t mad; I didn’t think he would be.

Oh I just figured out the next post about Joey…casteration.  lol

 

 

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