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!