Lenny the Bull is very near & dear to me.
Today, Today I bury Lenny.
Lenny was Born 11 years ago.
On a cold morning, a heifer was calving.
It was only my second year calving cows.
The heifer was having problems. She was too tiny.
I helped get both feet out. Then a head in the right direction.
I had a tiny year old baby girl in the truck watching.
I found some twines to get on his feet to get this little calf out.
It was the first time I had ever had to help a cow deliver.
We (the heifer & I) were both clueless about what to do.
Then he was out.
Cute little bugger looked at me & moo'ed
The heifer - now cow, wasn't doing so well.
The heifer didn't make it.
He was now a bottle calf. I went to a local dairy farm & purchased some colostrum. I fed him frozen holstein colostrum for 3 days, 5 or six times each day. Little guy figured it out really quick. He became exited to see me when I walked in the barn. He took his bottle like a champ & didn't fight that much.
But there was an issue! He was a born a bull. "You can't keep him." I was told over & over. I was bound & determined to make something of this bull. I was NOT going to let him go to a feedlot.
Lenny grew & grew. He ate well & was respectful. See that is one of the issues with bottle calves. When they get big, they don't realize they are big. They might try to bump you & hurt you. But not my Lenny, he was a good boy.
Lenny grew enough that fall that I convinced MyLove to register him. So, Lenny became ECC Liberty. MyLove said we could keep him as a backup bull. We learned that summer to always have a backup because our old herdsire died at the old age of 8. Most bulls are retired at 5 or 6. We have a tendency to get attached, so they stay as long as they live.
When Lenny was 3, we had him at the big pasture. We parked the truck at the top of the hill & walked down to the ditch. It was a beautiful walk through the pasture! But at the bottom of the hill we found Lenny. Lenny had a sore eye. Pinkeye. Bad enough that it needed treated. So up to the truck I ran. Ugh, no halter, no rope?!... But, I had an extension cord. Think it would work? It was worth a shot. So, he made a loop with an extension cord & took a throw. A big hoolihan throw & it was on Lenny's head. He struggled a bit, but we were able to get it looped through into a makeshift halter. Now, we walk him out. Remember, we were in the big pasture, 2000 acres without a road through it. Lenny was never really halter broke, but he was tame enough. So, MyLove took the truck to get the trailer, while Lenny & I started walking. First I'd walk behind him, kind of driving him in the direction I wanted. Then at the top of the hill, I was walking next to him. We were both exhausted (it is a BIIIG hill). We walked another 40 acres to the next gate. we stopped there & waited for MyLove at the gate so we didn't get in with the neighbors bulls. The trailer arrived & I opened the door & walked in. Unsure if he was going to hop in, because Lenny had only been in the trailer once in his life. Well, he hopped right in. We shut the door & Beau says, "Guess he's halter broke now"
Every time Dad has come to visit & Lenny was in the barn or near where we were, he'd just smile. Smile & remember that little runt calf sucking on his finger. As he aged, Lenny's disposition remained wonderful! He was never a bull to be mean or aggressive. In fact, we never left him with the other bulls because they'd pick on him. Even the little bulls would pick on him. Lenny sired Ultimate & Freedom, many more & just a week ago Lacey (my pet cow) had a Lenny Bull Calf.
Never say never, Never tell a ranch wife you can't keep a bottle calf.
Lenny lived his last winter in the big barn with the heiffers. He died in his sleep surrounded by beautiful girls.
Shanen~Mama to the Momma Cows @ the ECC
4 hours ago