Have you ever - very politely - asked a steer to step onto a truck?
Updated: Apr 22, 2020
(Spoiler alert: it’s not as easy as it sounds!)
In times of crisis, we need to band together and offer a helping hand where we can. This is how we came about rescuing Obi (now Obi Wan Kenobi) and Nero (now Luke Skywalker - we couldn’t resist!)
These gentle boys were bought from a dairy farm at 3 days of age. Now 14 months old, they found themselves in need of being rescued again.
Cranky’s Farm in QLD had agreed to take them, however due to the coronavirus the borders with QLD closed and with only days left before the deadline to rescue Obi and Nero, things were looking grim. Upon hearing of their plight, we contacted Cranky’s and offered to rescue the boys. They were very relieved and quickly accepted our offer.
With only two days to organise the rescue, we got ourselves to the property as fast as we could, to plan the move. Obi and Luke were larger than expected, ruling out our little horse float and there was no infrastructure to safely catch and load them. We had our work cut out for us and time was not on our side but, after looking into Luke and Obi’s big gentle eyes, we knew we had to make this happen!
We tried to hire a stock crate but the closest was 400 km away. So we rang some cattle transport companies and breathed a sigh of relief when we found one that could be at the property in 48 hours.
Given the choice, cattle would rather not board a truck. If not done in the right way, this can be dangerous for both them and the humans. The safest approach is to take it in stages: first into a yard, and then into the truck. We transported some of our (very heavy) cattle yard panels and set up a yard that we hoped the boys would walk into (if we asked really nicely!)
Returning the next morning we breathed a sigh of relief as the boys slowly made their way into the yard for breakfast. They were a bit tentative but the call of food was enough.
Once the truck was in position and the ramp lowered, the yard was narrowed to create a funnel to lead to the ramp. Now all we had to do was ask two large steers who did not know us to please walk up a steep ramp into a truck!
Luke, the more timid of the pair, was happy to run up the ramp to get away from the two strangers who had suddenly appeared in his life, but Obi is a more confident young man and was less than impressed at the thought of boarding anything.
With some gentle persuasion and lots of encouragement: "Obi please hop onto the truck so we can save you!" (not very original, but sincere!) - he was in.
An hour later, after a scenic drive through the Tweed Valley, Luke and Obi stepped cautiously down the ramp and into a paddock of lush green grass. To our delight, they are now at home, safe and sound, at Head Over Hooves. We can’t wait to introduce them to the bobby calves Niles and Frasier – stay tuned!
Watch them arrive below.
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The Head Over Hooves Team