It is -15° F this morning, windchill -33°. The day’s high will be -8°. I will probably only turn out the cattle and sheep for a couple of hours so I can clean their stalls, break ice out of their water buckets, and then bring them back in.
That had been my plan last Thursday, also. However when I had called the cattle into the barn, my six-month-old bull, Red, galloped in behind Moxie in a frenzy. He leaned his throat on her stall gate, moaning.
It appears Moxie is not bred. Though this is actually what I’d wanted, due to her tough calving last summer (I will write about this soon), there had been such calm on the cow front that I had assumed she was actually pregnant, bred by Mel Gibson before I sent him to slaughter early trying to prevent it.
While Red is only six months old, he is half Shorthorn — stocky and heavy-boned. The wooden gate creaked alarmingly as he leaned against it, groaning with desire. Clearly he was not going to settle down for a quiet nap in his stall. Hurriedly I turned all the cattle out again, despite the cold.
From the windows of the house I could watch all day long as Red mounted Moxie and a few times when the phemerones were so intoxicating that she mounted him in excitement. Neither one seemed to notice the bitter wind, though Moxie’s son, the steer Ikey, looked glum. My Angus heifer, Flora, stolidly munched hay.
At six months, Red is still so short that I did not think it likely that any of his attempts to breed Moxie would be successful. When at last I brought the cattle in that evening, I was even more convinced.
At a windchill of -46° F, the ejaculate had flash-frozen in an icicle hanging from the hairs below Red’s penis. Over the course of the day and his indefatigable efforts, this icicle was now 8″ long and several inches thick, swinging beneath him like a giant white clapper on a bell.
Thankfully, the amorous frenzy had passed and I was able to close the cattle into their stalls. However I was worried about that clapper. Surely it would not be healthy to sleep on top of an enormous icicle. Yet Red is neither tame nor halter-broken. How could I get it off?
In the end, while the bullock was distracted with grain, I ducked under him and sawed off the hairs with a pair of scissors.
Never a dull moment in this outfit!