Which Kind Are You?

Our little calves, small enough when we brought them home that Melissa could carry each one in her arms, are now looking like this:

I don’t know their weight…300? 400? We’re still too new to be able to guess accurately. Regardless, they’re good-sized boys at this point. Three are purebred Jerseys, and one is a Jersey/Holstein cross.

Last week Melissa noticed one of them had coccidia, so she decided to treat all four of them. This requires that for five days, she drenches each one. (No, this doesn’t mean go after them with the water hose! It means to administer liquid medication through the mouth.)

The first day all the steers were lying down, so she just knelt by each one, stuck the drencher into their mouths, and squirted.

The next day the steers happened to be standing. She grabbed the first guy’s head, tipped it back, and started drenching. But the steer suddenly went limp, collapsing in a heap on the ground.

Wow. She hadn’t done anything to him other than stick the tube in his mouth. She drenched the second steer and he did the same thing, as did the third and fourth. All four of them fell over as soon as she restrained their heads.

She didn’t say anything to me, thinking it was just an odd coincidence.

The next day the same exact thing happened. Four steers standing. Four steers collapsing.

This was now getting VERY weird, so Melissa called our vet, describing the behavior of these steers.

The vet laughed. “Are these Jerseys?”

Wow again. “How did you know?” Melissa asked.

“When you drench a Holstein, he just stands there. But when you restrain a Jersey, he sort of gives up and collapses.” She hates having to put the two breeds in a pen together for treatment, for as she’s treating them, the Jerseys are collapsing and getting stepped on by the Holsteins.

I’ve been sick for over four weeks (finally getting better, thanks), and have been driving both myself and Melissa crazy. When she told me how Jerseys get the vapors and collapse, it reminded me of people.

Some people, when they get sick, are like defiant Holsteins getting treated by a vet: “That all you got? Don’t waste my time.”

Others, such as myself, are like Jerseys, down for the count at the first sign of distress.

I think this could be a new phrase we should introduce into the English language. If you know someone who’s whining and complaining and always seeing the negative, just say, “Don’t be such a Jersey!”**

**Note to the American Jersey Cattle Association, if there is one: Please, no calls or letters. I’m just kidding…

And hey, even if they do get faint at the sight of needles and drenchers, they’re still darned cute!

8 thoughts on “

  1. You’ve been sick for FOUR WEEKS?! Good grief, whatcha GOT?! Yuck! I’m so sorry!

    I’ve been sick since Saturday night – finally feeling well enough today to drag myself to the desk for some lightweight deskwork – and I can hardly stand THIS length of time!!

    As I whined to my husband last night thru my misery, “Have I mentioned . . . I don’t like being sick?”

    I sure wish you would post more, but I understand it if you’ve been sick! 🙁

    P.S. Remember way back when and my informal Lamb Meat Buying Census?! I still have it – just need to send my findings off to the two of you.
    P.P.S. Even tho I know he read it last Christmas (he claims he didn’t), my husband is (re)reading ‘Hit by a Farm’ right now . . . .

  2. Those Jersey boys sure are cuties, but that dropping because their head is restrained, goshdurned funniest thing I’ve heard in awhile!!! Goes to show there is alot to know about critters and their quirks. Glad to hear your cold is getting better, hate when it lasts so long like that!

  3. Our copy of ‘The Perfect Nest’ arrived from Amazon this morning, now we can give the library their copy back! My son forgot to take it with him to his grandmas this evening but it didnt matter, he gave her an almost perfect rendition from memory complete with accents!

  4. Our friend Mary, who helps us lamb, reminded me that while she was here this spring, she tried to train the Jerseys to a lead to make things easier for us, but when they found themselves restrained like that, each got the vapors and sort of fell over…!

    Jenny, how cute your son knows the story of The Perfect Nest so well, complete with accents. Teachers tell me they read the book to their classes, then the next day 6-year-olds are running around saying “Sacre bleu!”

  5. now thats the weird thing, my book doesnt say ‘sacre blue’ it says ‘oh la la’, I think its because sacre blue is swearing in french and us english censor it!

  6. Jenny,

    You have the Walker version, the one published in England. I’d forgotten they changed some of the words!

    In the US ‘sacre bleu’ isn’t considered swearing, but something like “oh my!”

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