Sunday, March 18, 2012

British White Bulls - A Little Fighting, a Lot of Working, and a Bunch of Bull . . .

J.West's Elvis, British White Bull, March 2012
The past couple of weeks have been full of a lot of 'bull'!  I've had my three eldest bulls penned and handy for a few weeks now - handy for me to pen them, but also handy for them to quarrel and trumpet at one another, make big bull head sized holes in the so-called 'bull' fencing, not to mention dig holes along the fence line that could serve as small ponds.  But only one actual bull fight as happened.

Unbelievably, I actually left a gate open!  Me!  The neurotic gate closer and double chain it back even if you're coming back in just a few . . . I actually screwed up in a big way on that rule.  Below is a video of the latter part of a fight between Elvis and Tom Sawyer.  I shot the video with my cell phone after giving up on breaking it up by my puny presence and a leather whip - all my efforts were just irritating to them - and I felt like I might just get swatted like an irritating fly on their behind. 
J.West's Tom Sawyer, British White Bull, March 2012

About the middle of the video you can see them both pause and look up at the faint sound of the chain on a gate in the background.  Then they go right back at it, and Mr. Brown drives right up on them with the alfalfa truck.  It distracts Elvis mostly and the next thing I know he's almost getting himself flipped over by Tom.  I decided to be that irritating fly on Tom's behind again and maybe try to make that whip sting more like a hornet - and as quickly as possible, my imagination in over drive at the prospect of old Elvis getting stomped once he was rolled.  I popped Tom hard twice, he jumped back (and I jumped back!) and took off at a gallop to one of the open pens - I could hardly believe my eyes.


While Tom is the younger bull, it looks like Elvis must surely be the old and wise bull.  When you watch the video you see Tom pushing Elvis over a lot of ground.  Elvis is resisting, rather than being on the offense, which would be a lot more tiring I'd imagine.  I took current weights on all three bulls last week, and even with Elvis being underweight right now - he still outweighs Tom considerably. 

J.West's El Presidente, British White Bull, March 2012
Here are the results of weight and hip height measure on each bull:

Tom Sawyer, Hip Height of 50.5 inches, Weight of 1565 lbs, Mature Frame Score 2 Bull
El Presidente, Hip Height of 51.5 inches, Weight of 1745 lbs, Mature Frame Score 2.5 Bull
Elvis, Hip Height of just under 52.5 inches, Weight of 1715 lbs, Mature Frame Score 3 Bull

And here is a short video of working the bulls in the squeeze chute on my vet's first visit. Tom and El Presidente have been real good about being moved in and out of the chute - while Elvis, normally such a laid back dude, seems intent on letting everyone know he is still a Rock Star!  Elvis was also the lucky bull this breeding season, he's been with a large number of cows - Tom and El Pres have been on their own - so maybe old Elvis is just full of a lot of bragging 'bull'........