by Jan Fielden
Baby calves are always afraid of gates, always! I don’t know what spooks them about the gates but it is as if they think something is going to get them. When The Colonel moved the Yearling Herd out of the Horse Pasture in to the Yearling Pasture, I texted him…yeah, right, modern day cowboy! that there was a calf left on the line up by Sundance’s paddock. He was on the tractor and came up to check it out. The calf stayed still until the tractor turned towards the fence line. Then the calf jumped up and started running/walking down the line. The calf got all the way down to the gate and when it saw the gate, the calf turned around and ran. So the race was on. This pasture has a lot of high levees and The Colonel was getting bounced all around keeping up with the calf.
I walked out into the pasture when the calf turned to come up towards the hay pen and he took off again with the tractor on his heels. Down close to the gate again they went; and again the calf turned and ran. I thought for a moment he was going to run in to the Red Oak Trace (the old Palestine road) but he didn’t. That was a good thing because the tractor can’t go in there very easily. So, here we are, The Colonel and me both chasing a calf who is running rings around us. But we were wearing him down faster than he was wearing us down. He started towards me and got almost close enough for me to pet him. I took one step towards him and the race was on again.
Finally, the calf was so worn down he ran through the gate to get rid of the tractor following him. One good thing is that now, this calf keeps up with the herd and moves when they move! The Red Oak Ranch is a “teaching” ranch!!