|Donald in full roar before he got sick|
This week we lost Donald after weeks of sickness with lantana poisoning. Its amazing how a single event can completely change your perspective. Before Donald got sick I was ready for him to leave, he was being a total pain fighting the neighbour's bull, roaring all night, mooing that he was hungry when he was in better condition than any of the other cattle and generally being a nuisance every time Nancy (his daughter) came on heat. I had advertised him for sale, I was willing to give him away if someone wanted him, and we had even discussed having him butchered, but we weren't sure what to do with all that mince.
And then we realised that Donald was sick and all I wanted was for him to get better and be healthy again. I suppose it was the guilt more than anything, knowing that we could have prevented him getting sick if we'd spent a hot afternoon digging up lantana or just fed him hay instead. Now that he is gone I miss him, I miss the roaring and the head tossing and the snuffling. He wasn't the most friendly little animal, but he did have personality. We were very lucky to find such a tame little bull to mate with our Jersey cows, and he has produced three healthy small calves, with one more due soon.
Really our property wasn't big enough to keep all these cattle through the dry summer we just had, and now we will use AI for the house cows until we move to Cheslyn Rise and have the space for another bull. If you have Jerseys, I can recommend using a Dexter bull, as we never had any trouble with calving.
How do you deal with deadstock at your place?