We have been talking about getting a bottle calf (or two or three or however many will fit around the pens!) for quite a while. Well, ever since we moved here to this acreage - only a few miles from the sale barn!!
So, the last few weeks we have made little attempts at our bottle calf endeavor. Pops took the kids to the sale barn where they had a great lunch and missed the selling of the bottle calves!! Oops! So, we learned what time the littlest calves were sold.
Last week, while Pops was out of town, I decided to "let my fingers do the walking" and I called down to the sale barn to see if there were any bottle calves being sold. Nothing to buy to feed a bottle.
So, I was asked if I would like to be put on a list. Uh, well, sure! Put us on a list and let us know if anyone needs a home for a bottle calf!
So, two days later... Pops got home from Georgia, we were finishing eating our supper and my phone rang.
"Is this Erica?" barked through my phone. "Yes," I responded tentatively. "Well, we've got a black baby bull down here at the sale barn. Do you want it?" "Uhmmmm. Well, hey, you know what? My husband is right here, why don't you talk to him!"
So, they tell Pops the same story and he wants more information about this calf and they don't really seem to know anymore - like even how many days old this calf is!!
They tell him that the calf is headed into the sale ring right now and what is our top bid if we want him. Pops gives them our top dollar and the person on the other line says "I'll call ya right back if ya get it" and hangs up. All this starts at about 7:00 on a Friday evening. This is a "special" sale at the sale barn.
We realize that if we actually get this calf, we are not prepared! So, we get to throwing all the dishes into the dishwasher and Pops calls the local Tractor Supply Company and we discover that they will be closing at 8:00.
We wait 10 minutes and don't hear back from the sale barn, Pops assumes that we have been outbid. I continue to get the kitchen in order and shoo the kids off to get their socks and shoes on! Bump has heard the conversation about cows at the sale barn and wants to go! So, we'll go anyway.
About 10 minutes later, the phone rings. "You got the bull." They proceeded to tell me the price, which was $120 less than our top dollar bid!! But, now we had to dig the large dog kennel out of the garage and toss it into the truck, load us all into the truck, and get to TSC before it closed to get bedding (straw), bottles, milk replacer and maybe some colostrum since we have no idea how old this calf is!
We jet up to the bigger town to get the supplies we need and Pops calls them to let them know we are on our way and we will be rolling into their parking lot as they are going to be shutting and locking their doors. He asked if they would be so kind as to collect the few things that we will need to purchase and have them at the registers - and they happily provided that wonderful service for us!
We arrived in the parking lot and the customer service employee was waiting at the door for us. Pops ran inside, paid the bill and threw it all in the bed of the truck. Then we raced on back toward the sale barn to get THERE before they closed up shop! We pulled in and got our calf paid for, and had a bit of time to go and sit and see the end of the sale - about 8 or so heifers left to sell.
At the end of the sale, we gathered ourselves up and headed back out to the truck to get in line to pick up our purchase. But, as we were walking out of the front doors, we watched a truck with its cattle trailer going awfully fast and stop short, make a right hand turn onto the highway and then... CLANG! CLANG! CLANG!!
More of the story tomorrow - Geemah's flight arrives in a few hours, we are so excited to have her come and stay for a while!! But, I need to get supper started and a few other things done... suspense is good for you!!