Wednesday, 15 July 2009

Humans 1; Cows 0

A pleasing result. The new yards are a huge success - everyone happy, no tears, and no need to use the prod of persuasion. The crush even sports a nice new roof to keep it out of the rain and add to its life expectancy. 

Apart from the next door neighbor's two feral pure(in)bred brain dead cows that got into the herd a while back, and who seem to think that jumping fences is reasonable behaviour, all went through the new race unscathed. Those two spinners are enough to lead you to believe that a cow could jump over the moon. They are one of the reasons we had to build the new yards - we couldn't hold them in the old ones to get them onto a truck, and the bastards are teaching our quiet herd bad habits. The sooner they're gone the better. They are not well liked by the old girls anyway, who make their antipathy towards them known in no uncertain terms.

We finally got the old fly tags off, tagged a bunch of calves for market and G-Man is joyfully at work putting the finishing touches on the race - kick boards so the animals don't cut their feet on the corro at the bottom of the sides and a couple more gates and it's all done.

It is a fantastic system - humans completely enclosed in a safe area, and buffalo-girls all going round the outside. No one can see what's going on up ahead, especially not what is going on in the crush, and all remain calm and collected. 

Thank god it all went ok - it's taken G-man months of solid solitary work to build the new yards, and I've been bugger all help at all. I think he'd have had a nervous breakdown, or at least a massive dummy spit if the cows decided not to play. Indeed, the young steers think it is actually a game, and practically skip through - though nothing dodgy has happened to them in the crush yet, apart from some fairly painless ear tagging. 

Thank you Ms Grandin - you are a genius.


  1. Glad it's all sorted itself out.

    Had no doubt that the G-man would have constructed a creation worthy of praise.

    having much rain?

  2. Sounds v excellent - glad to hear that it came through!

  3. Glad to hear it worked well.

  4. Blinded 'em with science, eh? Long Live The Crush!

  5. Indeed FH - pure biological science, based on long careful observation of animal behavior, and applied with the animal's interest and natural tendency in mind, rather than the human's need to send those animals to their death a cheaply and quickly as possible.

    This system sends them to their death as humanely as possible, with the least stress possible, which in turn makes my conscience as clean as possible.

    You need have worked in a badly designed cattle yard to understand how fucking hideous it is for all concerned - anything that reduces the frenzy is worth it. Our cows can now simply walk calmly into the race, wait calmly for their turn at the crush without getting hysterical, and it all goes smoothly for all involved - and the added bonus is that we don't risk being killed by a mental, terrified ton of steak.

    I found out recently that cows can hold a grudge, (Jonathan Leake, “Cows Hold Grudges, Say Scientists,” The Australian, February 28, 2005.) and I certainly have no wish to be on the wrong end of a grudge from No 77 - she can be such a bitch.

    And Chaz - no rain recently, it's dry and clear of sky and beautifully brisk in the morning wit plenty of water in the tanks. Woohoo.

  6. G-man looks wonderfully wild and woolley!

  7. That's great news about the new yards.

    Though a bit touchy-freindly greenpeacy hippie we can all live togther in harmony mindset.

    Whats wrong with constructing a sharp, brutal industrial process that brooks no opposition and takes no prisoners. Thats how we do thinks in the West I say.

    ...and back to reality now.

    You'd think by now we as a civilisation would have worked out the best way of dealing with our food herd animals? Great to see trying something different worked so well.

  8. hey hughesy
    hopefully see you in august with a camera and notepad so i van get all i can before i get some cattle this year.