A couple of weeks ago we artificially inseminated our heifers. One of the last things Jason did before leaving was to slap a “lottery ticket” patch on each of the heifer’s backs, near their tails. He calls them lottery tickets because they resemble the “scratch to win” game. The patch starts out a greyish silver color, but will turn florescent orange if rubbed. The patch was to be one of the indicators of the success/failure of insemination.
Like any good medical “professional”, Semen Jason left us with detailed instructions. He said it was up to us to keep an eye on the ladies in order to know for certain if the insemination was successful. Jason said to call him immediately if the heifers went back into heat. “Ummmmm, sure Semen Jason, we’d be happy to, but how the hell are we going to tell if they are in heat?! “, I worried silently. Looking back, laughable is all I can say to that ridiculous concern.
Our cows are pretty quiet. They will occasionally let out a moo, but it is pretty rare. Last Wednesday we woke to one of the cows making the most guttural noises. She was way out in the pasture, but we could hear her as if she was standing next to the bed. MOOOOOOOOOO, MOOOOOOOO was coming from the depths of her belly. We dressed quickly to head out to see what was the problem. We feared one of the cows was hurt or sick.
As we left the house and headed out back, the air was thick with MOOOOOOOOO, MOOOOOOOO, MOOOOOOO. Quickening our pace we finally made it to where we could see the herd. It was Rosie, one of the heifers. No, Rosie was not puking or down on the ground with a gapping wound, far from it, in fact. At first we weren’t certain what we were witnessing, but the reality sank in quickly. We had a front row seat to a hump-fest of epic proportions.
Holy crap, it was like a women’s prison porn movie. Rosie was mounting everyone and everyone was mounting Rosie and then they were all mounting one another. Nobody seemed to know the proper technique, so they were humping one another forwards, backwards and everything in-between. They were going off instinct: mount and hump, mount and hump, mount and hump. I felt like some sort of demented voyeur. I think I was actually blushing at the spectacle. And the patch on Rosie’s back? I think those flying in a spaceship far above the earth would be able to see the neon orange color!
“Gee, I wonder if she is in heat?” Steve asked sarcastically as he pulled out his phone to call Jason. Cows are only fertile for about 18 hours so Jason was going to come right away. Corralling a single cow is difficult because they are herd animals, but we managed to get Rosie settled into the chute. As we waited for Semen Jason we sat and cringed at her frantic attempt to hump the fence as she mooed pathetically.
Three hours of unplanned pregnancy work later, the deed was done and Rosie was returned to the herd. Getting sidetracked during the busy summer months is awful. We spent the remainder of the morning and early afternoon playing catch up around the farm, dreading the following day and the compounded workload. Around 6:00 we both heard something that made us stop dead in our tracks…….MOOOOOOOO, MOOOOOOOOO, MOOOOOOOO. WTF! We put down our shovels and quickly walked to the pastured cows. OMFG! There stood Dory, with the same pathetic look on her face. She mooed wildly at us and then proceeded to hump the steer. Hello Jason? See you bright and early tomorrow.