A few weeks ago we picked up the cutest Jersey steer calves from a family on the other side of Newark, Ohio. The calves were only four days old and just adorable.
The couple gets them from a local dairy farm and then resells them for a small profit to folks like us looking to raise them for meat. They sell an average of 80-100 a year. Not a bad business.
When it came time to load the little suckers, the couple suggested just carrying them to the trailer. Mind you, these guys had had a rough day. separated from their moms, still nursing up to a few hours earlier, they were having some very loose stools and were quite a mess.
Just to be clear, I don’t have a problem dealing with livestock. I understand there is an inherent mess to having animals who relieve themselves wherever and whenever they need to.
That doesn’t mean I want to grab on to a steer calf with diarrhea by the back end. Certainly not without gloves. Or my boots.
But neither of those hindrances stopped this farmer or his wife. She headed into the calves pen in a tank top and flip-flops without gloves picked up a stinky steer and hauled it to the trailer – multiple times.
She was covered in poo.
When we soon discovered that the steer hadn’t been banded (castrated), she not only volunteered to do it for us, she climbed in the trailer still in her flip flops, again with no gloves, and banded those five steer in about five minutes.
My hat goes off to her. I will never be that much farm girl. I will always require gloves and boots. There are just some things on which I will never be able to compromise.
In fact, I don’t mind having multiple types of gloves and boots specific to certain jobs. Not a problem at all.
On a side note, the entire prospect of banding steer, goats, whatever, may be a job I just leave to the professionals. Seems like a smart move.