Mace’s Adventures

July 1st, 2011 by Kim

The Li’l Man lookin’ good.

It’s been a crazy busy couple of weeks!  Brenton graduated from high school, as valedictorian, Friday June 17.  We made a road trip to west KY to trade non-breeding Noel back to her original owner in exchange for a half-sister of hers.  I had a fun “horse show” day with a small group at a friend’s farm.  Sierra went to the vet for a little surgery, because 5 kittens is quite enough.  And to top it all off, Mace’s shenanigans have required quite a bit of attention also.

So proud of my boy! I can’t believe he’ll be off to college already.

We had leased Mace to some folks nearby for breeding their 2 Dexter cows.  The wife had contacted me, saying the cows were bred & we could come get Mace, so we were planning to pick him up sometime the week after the AGM.  We got home Sunday night, and early Monday morning she called, rather troubled, asking if we could come for him that day.  Their neighbor had put a small herd of Angus cows in the field adjoining theirs, a few of which apparently weren’t bred & were calling to Mace through the fence.  He had jumped the 4′ fence & proceeded to chase the Angus cows around, trying his best.  Fortunately for Mace, the Angus BULL didn’t care who was fooling with the girls that he was supposed to have bred!  And fortunately for the rest of us, neither did the neighbor.  They were able to get a halter on him & lead…or maybe drag…him down the road & up their driveway to get him back in the pasture where he belonged.  Needless to say, we left as soon as we could, to prevent a repeat!

Glory splashes right through the kiddie pool without even hesitating. So proud of her, too!

Once home, Mace went back in his little front paddock, while Rousseau was in the main pasture with all the girls.  This of course required much posturing, dirt slinging, roaring & bellowing at each other across the lane.  The contest continued all through Monday night and all day Tuesday…such a ruckus!  At bedtime Tuesday, Jeff said, “Why don’t we go put Mace in the old horse barn? Then maybe they’ll be quiet.”  I didn’t think it was a good idea, but told him if he wanted to do it, he better make absolutely sure that there was no way Mace could get out.  So he went out and took Mace back to the old barn & got him all situated, then went to bed & fell right asleep.  I was laying there, listening to the boys still bellowing, even though they couldn’t see each other…Rousseau’s voice out front, Mace’s out back.  Then there was just a lot of bellowing out front….the pasture gate rattled a bit…then quiet, finally, around 1:30 am.  After a few minutes I heard a distinctive noise coming from the front yard outside our bedroom window…the sound of horses eating grass.  I popped out of bed & looked out the window, and sure enough, there were the 3 equine boys, who live with the cows, eating in the front yard!  My mind was quickly putting the pieces together and I figured this meant trouble, so I woke up Jeff & we hurried outside to see what the score was.

The new girl, Noel’s half-sister Rhema’s Rosanne.

Sure enough, there was a full-fledged bullfight going on in the main pasture, and luckily the cows & calves had hung around to spectate.  True to his nature, Mace had MADE a way out of the old barn, then pruned the lower branches off the young maple tree by the driveway before lifting the pasture gate off it’s hinges to go in & pick his fight.  By the time we got there, they were fully engaged & all the feed buckets in the world wouldn’t distract either of them, so the first thing to do was get the gate back where it belonged before anyone else got out.  Then we caught the horses & put them back in the pasture.  And then we watched & waited…until finally Mace got tired & ran for cover.  Jeff held Rousseau at bay while I got a halter on Mace & led him into the stall in the cow barn.  I’ve never seen a bovine so winded…he had his mouth as wide open as it would go, tongue hanging out, gasping for air.  So a much subdued Mace spent the remainder of the night shut up in the cow stall.

The kittens like to sleep on the hay left in the feed trough in the parlor.

Wednesday morning he seemed fine, so I returned him to his paddock.  That day the bulls were back to a “normal” amount of yelling at each other.  Thursday & Friday I didn’t have much time to pay attention to the cattle, but noticed that Mace seemed “quiet”.  Saturday some other people were planning to come pick him up for another breeding date, so I thought I should clean him up a bit and have him looking his best when they came.  So after it quit raining, I took feed-bucket-bribe & the halter to bring him to the barn.  He wasn’t the least bit interested in the feed…big red flag.  And when I took him into the stall, I noticed he was shivering…uh-oh.  So I took his temp and it was 105.5!  And, yes, then I noticed that his breathing was fast & shallow and he was coughing a good bit.  Time to make phone calls…tell the folks he’s sick & they won’t be able to take him right now, and ask the vet what we should do for him.  The vet proclaimed it “shipping fever” (though I think in this case it was actually “bullfight fever”) & said we should get some antibiotics & banamine into him.  Shipping fever is actually pneumonia that usually happens after cattle are stressed, overheated & dehydrated, and is commonly caused by Pasteurella bacteria.  These bacteria are almost always present in healthy cattle & only cause illness when an animal’s immune system is weakened.

Mace, obviously feeling his normal self again.

Although penicillin is not the drug of choice it was all we had on hand. So we were able to get a shot of it into him that evening, and he barely flinched at the needle.  Sunday he seemed a bit better, and we were able to pick up some LA200, but not banamine to help with the fever.  The LA200 required a huge dose, split between multiple injection sites, and this time Mace was one unhappy camper!  At least it lasts for 3 days, but by Tuesday afternoon I wasn’t seeing a whole lot of improvement, so I called the vet again.  He told me to come in to the office Wednesday morning to get a dose of banamine & one of Draxxin, another antibiotic.  After those 2 shots Wednesday evening, Mace’s temp was down near normal Thursday and he seemed to be feeling more himself.  It was a nice day, so I finally moved him from the stall to the freedom of his paddock.  He has made a  full recovery, and  is now ready to go spend some time getting to know those other 2 cows…finally.

Anybody else want a bull?  I think I have one too many!

One Response to “Mace’s Adventures”

  1. Susan Lea Says:

    What a lot of adventures you’ve had! My goodness, Mace sounds like quite a character! So glad to hear he’s feeling better and back to work. 😀