Saturday, April 26, 2008

Good-by MayZ

MayZ, the Dexter x Zebu cross calf that came with our cow May, has left the farm. She is going to stay with Steve for a while, and then on to either a new home or a freezer. The children were sadder than I expected. We have been talking about this for a while, so I didn't expect the tears when the time came.

MayZ in the trailer getting ready to leave

I can't say I will miss her all that much. The last few months her name has changed a bit. Crazy MayZ became the new name, and even the neighbors would tell you she earned it.

I love having a variety of animals on the farm, and I think it is important to include some kind of livestock on every farm, even very tiny micro-farms. However, they are a bit of work and sometimes impossible to manage. For animals to fit you must have a management system that fits the type of animal, the property, the desired product, and your time. Our system works for us and our animals with very few exceptions. MayZ was one of the exceptions. After a year of leading her to and from pasture every day, bottle feeding her when she was young, and rewarding good behavior with treats (which has worked with all our goats, no matter how wild they were when they arrived, with May the Dexter cow, and even with the children at least somewhat) she just couldn't get with the program. We don't have any permanent fence around our pasture or any substantial animal handling facilities. I rely on training and my bond with the animal to be able to do what ever I need to do with them. Ours is such a small property that such facilities and fences would eat up to much space and take away the flexibility we now enjoy. So, after trying for a year, we are sending MayZ on to some place that has a system that better fits her personality.

MayZ isn't the only critter we have who can't seem to work with the system. We also have a chicken I call suicide chicken. She will not stay in the paddock with the rest of the flock even though every good thing a chicken could possibly want is there. No matter what I try, she always gets out. She loves to hangout on the edge of the road. I've given up trying to contain her. I'm sure I will find her hit by a car or eaten by the local coyotes some day.

Mostly, our system works for us (animals included). I would recommend having animals on your mico-farm our in your garden, but...


Irish Sallygardens said...

Some creatures are just crazy aren't they!

Have your goats kidded yet? One of ours had twins yesterday, hell of a story which I must write down soon but at the moment I'm still recuperating!

Alan said...

Three of ours goats have kidded. One was really difficult, and we lost the first kid. He was too big. I ended up pulling him, which was traumatic for everyone. Her second, a little doeling, was very small but is doing very well now. You can read about that one here We have 2 or possibly three left. Can't wait to read your story.

Dee/reddirtramblings said...

We've never had calves, but we had chickens, and what I've noticed is that it is difficult to vacation with animals. However, I do enjoy them.~~Dee

Barbee' said...

Good riddance! You don't need a crazy cow to contend with.

You WOULD have to post that fudge pic. Don't you know what you are doing to us chocoholics?! And, I've already had my ration for the day. sigh - it looks yummy. I can just remember the taste of my mom's fudge. another sigh.

Alan said...

Dee, Vacation is not a word I know. My wife is trying to teach it to me, but the animals keep getting in the way.

Next time I'm in Lexington I'll bring you some fudge. It is quite good if I do say so my self. (I've family in Lexington, and passes to the horse park I need to use, so the fudge isn't really that theoretical.

Barbee' said...

Alan, that is more than neighborly of you, but not really necessary. Still, if it happens give me a heads up so I will be here and the ants don't steal any left on the doorstep. As I wrote in someones comments, I think there is a huge, huge colony living under and all around our driveway. A problem when we try to work flower beds in that area. They bite. Ouch! I need a pet ant eater.


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