The Hardy Ranch – Twelve Months

Rib-eye and T-Bone

If you’ve ever had home grown beef, then you know that once you try it, it’s hard to go back. Browning  hamburger meat was a new experience. I would wind up with so little grease that there wasn’t even enough to drain! Friends had heard about our new adventure and wanted some home grown meat of their own.

Hanging out at the auction, we talked to some of the locals. It seems you could pick up a couple of Holstein calves at the dairy for only $50 a piece. That seemed like a pretty good deal. Rib-eye and T-bone soon arrived at The Hardy Ranch.

These were little guys were only a week old. For the first couple of months we had to feed them with giant baby bottles. The calves would butt their heads into the bottle, as they would a momma cow, trying to get more milk. Looking to us for food, they became quite tame.

We weaned the calves off the bottle by offering them a pail with a nipple half submerged. Gradually we lowered the nipple until they were slurping water. At least that was the plan.

Cows are not known for being particularly brilliant, but Rib-eye was the smarted cow I’ve ever seen. He learned how to drink out of a pale after the first day. T-bone, well, have you heard the phrase “dumber than dirt?” 
Now I say “Too dumb to drink.”

 We tried over and over. T-bone just couldn’t get the hang of it. After a frustrating week, we finally just cut off the top of the nipple and continued bottle feeding the little bugger. When Rib-eye started eating grass, T-bone followed. Mimicking the smart one, he started slurping water at the trough.

“Too dumb to live” is probably more accurate. Without T-bone, Rib-eye would have never eaten grass or drank from the trough. Knowing my husband, we would have had veil.

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