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Weaning replacement heifers isn’t just nerve-racking for the bovineWeaning replacement heifers isn’t just nerve-racking for the bovine

September 26, 2016

3 Min Read

The whole process appears similar to Rush Week at any SEC school in the August heat. The summer of parental oversight and daily support has come to an end. Fall semester classes and socials are about to begin, and a new adventure awaits the nervous but excited females.

Weaning the replacement heifers at the ranch isn’t just nerve-racking for the bovine girls. Humans also bear a significant load of the stress via making sure all of the fences are secure before arrival and then repairing what was thought to be impenetrable after inevitable violations.

Like other groups that may wield unforeseen power before proper training, these freshmen girls are known to employ surprisingly creative methods when deciding on a course of action, particularly one that involves escape.

The following account occurred a few weeks ago on a muggy summer morning just before daybreak.

The heifers knew that in order to outsmart their human captors, they must create a situation in which human reaction times are greatly reduced. This classic ploy involved calling for mama until 3 am every night for two weeks until their vocal chords gave out. This ensured human sleep deprivation and delayed surveillance until after breakfast.

The heifers also reasoned that any solid plan must begin before dawn. They had previously escaped into the hay trap on a Sunday morning with full support of the entire heifer mafia. This time around, they discovered that effective escape was problematic, thanks to divisive group dynamics.

The more dominant heifers called the shots and tried to convince the rest of the group that their idea was the only option. One of the taller girls was singled out and coerced into placing her hooves over the top of the fence. A handful of helpers agreed that they would push the lower part of the fence in tandem. The small militia came crashing into the barnyard before daylight.

This did not warrant an alarm from the blue heelers, as they too were still half asleep on the porch and assumed that the blurry black figures in the distance were just a dream.

Once in the barnyard, the half dozen escapees were unsure of their next move. They looked at their sisters on the other side of the fence and begged them to join. Despite making a case for fresh grass in the yard and the opportunity to reunite with their mamas, the majority of the group chose not to exit. They figured that their mamas were in five different pastures, and they didn’t want to risk separation from one another or injury from a ragged wire panel.

The escapees wrote off this foolishness and trotted as far as the middle cattleguard with the electric gate. They argued about which direction their home pastures were in, calculated the number of fences that would have to be crossed, looked at each other in disgust and decided that the whole endeavor was futile without support from the rest of the sisters.

They returned to the barnyard where they knew the humans would soon awake to find the infraction, put them in time-out but remember how cute they are, reunite them with the group, and feed them breakfast.

After the renegades made their homecoming, their law-abiding cohorts shook their furry black heads, “This is NOT our idea of the heiferhood retreat we discussed at the last chapter meeting.”

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