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Neighbor's Bull

Garth Brown |

My dear neighbor Don died a few years ago. His children now own his farm. They lease the arable ground and run dairy heifers for another neighbor on about 100 acres of scrubby pasture and wood that abuts my land for a good long distance.

Dairy heifers need to be bred in order to calve and subsequently give milk. Since they're ranging on a large expanse and only see humans once in a while there needs to be a bull in with them to do the breeding to cause the calving to kick-off the milking. This handsome fawn fellow with the dark brown head is the man of the hour, the only problem is, he's on my land. The "fence" that contains the heifers is decrepit barbed wire that wouldn't stop any known type, class, age, or gender of livestock with even an inkling of a desire to get through. Last fall as the quality of the grass declined the inhabitants took to breaking free to graze the hay field next door. For any bull worth his salt the possibility of breeding is a much more powerful motivator than fresh grass. A yearling heifer in my herd is in heat and the siren song pulled him through the old wire in more than one place. My fence kept him at bay though, which I'm glad of since he's a Jersey. I'm trying to get more muscle and less milk out of my stock.

The first day he broke out he ranged far and wide across Don's corn field and even ended up in the road down by my barn. At that point I got nervous so I ran him into a corner of my pasture and then turned him around and back into my stock trailer. It seemed an obvious way to catch an errant bull. My maneuvering sure impressed both the owner of the bull and Don's brother, Bob, who now sort of "manages" the farm's goings on. The bull went home on the trailer and promptly broke free again, but rather than walking all over the place he just hung with my heifers, nose to nose across the fence. Unrequited poor guy. The heat must have passed on my heifer because he is now back where he belongs with the dairy herd.


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