We woke up to snow this morning. It wasn't a surprise or anything as they've been forecasting it all week, but it still is a bit odd waking up the day before Halloween to measurable snow.
The first thing I had to do was go out and put some hay out for the yak. I've been wanting to get around to it for a few days, but it was quite cold and rainy the last few, so I figured I'd wait for the precipitation to turn to snow. I have no issues working in the snow!
The yak were pretty excited for the hay! I also turned the newly made two steers in with the herd. There was some tussling. Okay, there was a fair bit of tussling! Interestingly, a lot of it was between the steers and the cows! Multiple times I saw Mr. Bull come and break them up because he apparently thought it was getting too intense. Herd mechanics are fascinating!
In this video, you can see Mr. Bull breaking up the fight between 93 and 418, our golden bull... err, steer. It's interesting to me for two reasons: first, 93 and 418 were very close before I separated the herd upon the arrival of the new group, and second, it was 93 who seemed to be instigating and actively seeking battle. You can clearly see Mr. Bull separating the two and standing between them, keeping them from going at it again.
Again, I find it interesting that 93 was so adamant about picking a fight with 418. They always hung out previously. In fact, I often wondered if 418 was her calf from a few years ago. Here they were the day 93 was in labor this June. It almost seemed like she was laying her head on his shoulder!
Anyway. Hard saying what all the fighting was about today, but Mr. Bull was having none of it!
After I hayed the yak, I went to go check on the elk. They were all grouped up in the upper reaches of the pasture and seemed pretty happy to see me. 603 let me pet her multiple times and that included parts of her face, too! Previously, she only let me touch her nose, but I almost was able to touch all the way up to between her eyes! Of course, she was grinding her teeth at me the whole time, which is an aggressive gesture for elk, so I'll only be trusting her so far. I still never go in the pasture on foot when they are near.
I missed catching a video of it, but while I was there, 604 stood up to nibble on some tips of the hemlock trees and managed to dump a ton of snow on herself! She wears it well, wouldn't you say?
The wee ones are experiencing their first cold weather, but they have thick furry coats and didn't seem bothered at all! Just another day being an elk, I guess!
And, of course, Big Guy was there, watching with his deep, penetrating stare the whole time I was out there. Always watching. Man, I like that critter!
I try really hard not to name animals that are being raised for meat. I love my animals, I want to give them the best possible life they can have, but I can't get tooooooo attached or things become really difficult down the line. However, sometimes, a name gets attributed to an animal due to circumstance. Take Piggy, for instance. That food motivated creature was such a pig when it came to food, we couldn't not call him that!
One of this year's calves has a really fluffy tushie. All elk have longer hair on their rumps. When they are agitated and their hackles are raised, the hair stands up a bit and makes them look bigger, I guess. It makes them look something, anyway! 604 tends to raise her hackles a lot and her rump gets fluffy plump, but she's got nothing on this wee one!
All the calves have fairly long hair on their butts right now, but this one is exceptional. When the light hits it juuuuussst right... well... it practically glows in its fluffiness.
You can see in this photo, that number 001 (a little bull calf) definitely has more fluff going on. He's the youngest of the bunch, but he's also the most nervous. I suppose it makes sense then, that he would put his hackles up a lot - but what a coiffure!
Now, listen, 001, there's no reason to get testy about my calling you "Fluffy Butt," it's all in good fun. ;-)
I mean, really, when you think about it, it's rather spectacular!! Thanks for putting a smile on my face, 001, every time I go out and see you're fluffy tushie glowing in the sun!!