Sunday, November 27, 2011

Bringing home Atlas

Our neighbors were still holding the cow/calf pair we had purchased, in part because we still needed to pull together a place to put them. The section of barn with the best stall space had been falling apart, largely due to our bull Gimli's rampage a few years ago. The original construction of this outbuilding wasn't the best to begin with, so we've had to do a number of patch jobs over the years.

So, time for another quick repair job. Don dug a hole...

...and put in a stout pressure-treated upright.

This allowed us to push the wall back in and screw it to the upright.

It was a muddy job for both of us.

A sturdy latch on the door...

...and we were ready for business.

Lily, the cow, walked okay on the lead rope, but of course Atlas wanted nothing to do with it. The idea was I pulled, and someone else pushed from behind. Here a neighbor boy, Ethan, gives Atlas a little shove.

"No! No! Don't wanna!" It's amazing how strong those four little legs can be.

But with mama walking ahead, he followed.

Mostly. He still needed a little convincing.

While Atlas might disagree, it was actually a fairly painless move from the neighbor's barn to ours. Here they're settling in.

Lily is still in the overprotective and suspicious stage, and it won't be made any better when we dehorn Atlas in the next few days. But I still intend to see if I can train her to milk. We'll see.


  1. A pretty little bull calf, Patrice. He'll come around. Find his 'sweet spot''s a different spot for every calf, every foal, every baby critter born but when you you scratch them there, their resistance melts, their eyes glaze over and they become putty in your hands.

    : )

  2. We're going through the same calf lead training with our Jersey heifer.
    Those little ones can just dig in those front hooves into park mode!

    Lily has soulfully, warm eyes. With a bit of work and TLC, I bet you'll have her in the milking groove within a few weeks.
    Now, that little boy, is a whole other story all together.
    Perhaps, if you could consider bottle feeding him Patrice, just for a few weeks, it will encourage the bonding, trust and transitioning to his new home and to his new "Mama Patrice", a whole lot quicker and smoother.


  3. So funny, in the last photo, Lily is looking at you Patrice and saying, "Don't you mess with my baby"! I just love how I can sit here in my home and through you, work a farm. This is a daily read. Thanks!

  4. I hope you post the training process on Lily.

    I am hoping to get my first milker before Spring myself. I'm starting smaller though. We are looking for a dairy goat. I actually made mozzarella cheese for the first, and second, time this weekend. I used the Cheese Queen's recipe, oh so easy for a first timer. I don't have fresh milk, so had to use store bought. I look forward to the day I have a dairy animal. But in the mean time I'm trying to acquire the skills I can to use all that anticipated milk. We also made butter and whipcream from store bought cream. My next new dairy skill is to try yogurt making.

  5. .


    One day would you be kind enough to run a close-up picture of a snow-covered moo-cow face as the title page of your blog. Thanks.

    Mike in Orlando, just tryin' to help


  6. I read the link back to Gimli's Rampage, Patrice ya shoulda warned me about that, the IT guys are gettin tired of cleaning coffee out of my keyboard! Too bad there's no video of your fun with cows, I pictured Curly in a Stooge's short!!! I know that look on Lily's face as well, it's usually followed up by a solid head butt...