Saturday, April 17, 2010

Off Road Adventures


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The training sleigh now has wheels from a discarded leaf-rake, and a platform of used plywood out of Dad’s collection of scrap lumber. The screws came from the old Cyr Hardware store apartment I tore down in Oklee last summer. The cart (it’s now an oxcart!) also has handles — mostly left over plumbing supplies from one of Dad’s plumbing projects. My plan was that the “yoke” would just sit on the shoulders, but it was too light weight to stay in place. So, as you see in the pictures, I had added his collar and a piece of strap from a broken tie-down to make it work til we got back to the shop.

We found that discarded piece of red fire hose along the way. It just might come in handy someday.

Oh by the way, he seems to have recovered from his lameness. It only took a day-or-two. Are you wondering if his feet were cold in the pictures? I don’t know, but mine sure were!  (3/13/2010)

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Scout has Outgrown Peaches!

And isn't he a fine looking chap.
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Maybe my failsafe plan of eating my beef if he doesn’t work out as an ox is moving into Plan B.

When Scout limped out of the barn, this morning, my first thought was laminitis — always on my mind, after his hoof trouble in January. After watching him move around in obvious pain I now question the laminitis theory. In addition to his apparent lameness he occasionally buckles at the knees.

Could he have pinched a nerve over his shoulders yesterday when the camera flashed and the dog barked? Knowing how calves are traditionally manhandled at branding time, on ranches in the West (and at youth rodeos), it seems unlikely our little incident would have yielded these results. But maybe.

I have seen somewhat similar gaits in sheep with unusual nervous system disorders: Scrapie? Listeriosis? White Muscle Disease?

My original intention was to raise a beef-steer, however, I got sidetracked with this ox thing: Plan A. My heart sinks thinking Plan B may be transpiring before my eyes.

Would you like that quarter-pounder with fries?   (2/27/2010)

B is for Burgers
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