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Friday, July 4, 2014

Cattle - Roaming Off the Property

No, not ours (this time).

Returning from an excursion to Dungog and travelling by the back route about 3 or 4 kilometres from home down in a sharp turning gulley stood a magnificent Black Braham Bull. Not old and age is hard to judge but lets say a 'youngin' probably just a yearling. Seemed nonplussed by our pause to examine.

This is where it's time to weigh up options. Keep driving and let someone else worry about the problem. Push it into the nearest paddock just to get it out of harm's way. Start looking for an owner and offer assistance.

When you think about it, what would you want someone to do with your strays?

Option three was about to become an adventure in sleuthing. Somewhere in the database of useless information laying dormant was a vague comment from someone years ago about a bloke called Stan Doftrees, who's property was within a 100 metres of where we sat, having some strange breed of cattle. Being a predominantly Bos Taurus region that could mean he has Bos Indicus and a home for this little bloke.

Up the drive and to the house for a bit of door banging before confronting a mature lady who admitted she was grandma and only visiting while Stan was away. Who's grandma was not divulged.

"There is a young Braham bull on the road nearby with a large Purple ear tag. Would that belong here?"

Never assume people know stuff so always provide two or more points of reference e.g. eartag colour.

"Oh dear I don't know if he has Brahimi cattle"

Now at this point you could correct the pronunciation but then what if  Brahimi is a new cross breed of some obscure origin.  Or she could also be referring to the chef of the same name. Best stay mum or grandmum in this case.

The problem is then shared with another current occupant of the house a generation younger. No relationship to grandma or Stan is provided but there is additional information is i.e. there is a Braham bull somewhere on the property but is grey. Which is an interesting comment as she refers to  the colour of the good looking dark Grey Staffordshire slobbering on my foot as being Blue.

The upshot of all this is that there is still no home but a suspicion that it may belong here and if all else fails this will be the temporary home i.e. option 2.

Back down the driveway to try another neighbour and as luck has it 50 metres on Mary Widdow is exiting her driveway on route to another location.

"Braham cattle? no don't know anyone who would own that but I'm just popping down to see Farmer Gate. I'll call a few people from there".

As Mary Widdow puddles off down the road past the happily munching Brahmin we decide to try another nearby neighbour. Con Tractor knows everyone but he may not be home. Being correct about him not being home wasn't helpful and neither was his gardener.

Consensus that we try another neighbour in the other direction before executing option 2. As chance would have it Ma Gee who lives opposite Stan Doftrees is arriving home and is idling in the drive about to open her gate.

"No, don't know anyone with Brahmins".

Well this looks bad, at least two of the people spoken with have been in the area for a decade or more and should have a fair idea of who has what. Beginning to wonder how far this boy has strayed.

The neighbour next to Stan Doftrees is who we target next. Good fortune smiles and he is exiting his driveway with son in tow.

"Mary Widdow just called me to say there was a Brahmin steer on the road".

"No, not a steer, a bull"

"Oh OK then that belongs to Stan Doftrees. Give me a hand getting him into a paddock?"

And so it passed. Job done. But is this an indication that nowadays we don't take an interest in our neighbours? Surely not. I've always said that Bos Indicus become invisible in a region of Bos Taurus. That would be the only explanation.

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