By Seren On
Tales of Old Crow Ranch Tailing
I learned something new, it’s called tailing. If you hold a bovine’s tail (at the base, near the rump) straight up, it squeezes a nerve in the calf’s back so they can’t kick and they stand fairly calmly so you can “work on them” safely. Now, when “working on them” includes cinching a surgical rubber band around their testicles, you can imagine standing docilely is a tall order to ask of the calf.
In the past two weeks my superhero fiancé, Steve,
has succeeded in completing two massive projects. A home cure room; a clean room where the humidity and temperature can be controlled at the optimal conditions to leave prosciutto, spalla, jowls, loins, guanciale, pepperoni, smoked ham and summer sausage to cure and age. This room is very exciting for us, our farm and our farm partners. We have already tasted the uncured pepperoni (de-lish) and certainly the hardest part about a cure room is having the patience to wait two (2) years for prosciutto to be ready.
The second project Steve undertook is the design and build of a cattle chute, so we can handle and treat the cattle in a way that’s both safe for them and for us. We were given an old head gate, we hired a friend to weld the chute and Steve painted it up all spiffy. Friday we walked the cattle through the corral and had them walk right through the chute. Saturday we walked them through again, this time trapping their heads in the head gate in order to safely hold them while we castrated and treat them. We were blessed with the help and guidance of fellow farmers, there to lend a hand. We sent all sixteen calves through the chute, checking and/or tagging each ear and castrating those with nuts.
I’ve gotta say, I didn’t know that this is what I’d be in for when I fell in love with a farmer. But it seems my fate is sealed now. Proposal was made, I said “yes” and the wedding is in July. Lucky for me, there is SO much to learn and help with on the farm that my horizons are constantly expanding and the sky is the limit for what adventure awaits us next here on Old Crow Ranch.
Congratulations! How exciting for the wedding and boy you have been busy up on the hill as I jog by. Good to hear all is going so well.
Thanks Seren, I love hearing any chronicles from the farm. I worked two summers on a dairy farm in PA and one on a ranch in Wyoming. I still miss the experience, the projects, the animals. I have one picky typo in your story.... You wouldn't be putting that rubber band on a "cow". lol. Keep us posted. Jim