Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Blind Calf's Big Adventure

Our blind, shaggy, girl has had an exciting week so far.

While Farmer John cooks dinner I want to share it with you. Isn't that nice of him to cook dinner? I should tell him what a good husband he is. In case you were wondering, he's making quesadillas - but not with onions, because all our onions rotted in the garden. Phooey.

Back to my point though, this week we've started to halter-train the blind calf.

We've never tried to do this with our other calves, but with the challenge of a calf that can't see us we thought we'd give it a shot. Another farmer that raises Highlands taught us some of the basics of this process. The most important idea is that the calf needs to know to walk towards the pull of the halter, rather than pull away from it. She was not about to walk towards Farmer John.

They stayed in this stalemate for quite a while.

Then I tried coaxing her along. Some ear-scratching and finger sucking was all she needed to get going. She was happy to follow anyone around the yard if there was finger nearby that she could nibble on.
We spent some time out in the yard, which was exciting because it was one of her only trips outside her stall. By the time she needed to go back to the barn she was a bit easier to lead with the halter.

Since then we've worked with her and the halter a couple times. Each day goes better than the last. She has stopped resisting the halter so strongly and will follow where we lead.
I tied her out in the yard today and left her alone while I worked in the garden. There was a lot of moo-ing, but she calmed down eventually. I think she might have even eaten some grass.

That'll do Blind Calf, that'll do.


  1. A bittersweet story;
    You are kind farmers. Many would have no patience or care for this little girl.

  2. True farmers! This is amazing. I'm wondering if you wore bells or sound devices if she'd learn to follow you by sound?


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