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A Gamble at the Family Auction

A cold January Saturday morning at the local Kirbyville Auction is where you would have found us outsiders. The not-so-sweet smell of livestock $hit and a couple looking to make an impulse decision…or three.


“75 dolla' bid, can I get 80! Come on folks she's a purdah heifer.”


Hens, Roosters, pigs, cows, lambs, goats.

By the time we left, I thought pigeons were cute and the kids wanted a rabbit.


Our pocket was down $600, and we had us 3 cows.

A female that was 1 ½ years old and two bulls that were “3-6 months.”


Shoot, we thought it a heck of a deal for three.


A couple of facts to know before going to an Auction house;


1. Don’t believe anything they say.

2. Always bring the vaccines and jab those suckers before you leave the parking lot.


Before we got home one cow had the scours, and another moo-ing so hard it lost its voice.


I was always told not to name an animal that I plan on butchering, so I referred to one of the males as “Not Now Brown Cow” and Grace gave the other the accidental name of “Coffee Cow.”

We tried hard to not love on them except for our milk cow “Bella.”


All night long "Not now brown cow" mooed, and I was about ready to get my Angus beef prepared the next day from lack of sleep.


I realized that morning that the brown cow wasn’t “3 months old.”

I think they meant to say, “3 days old.”

Poor baby still had an umbilical cord and couldn’t have weighed 100 pounds.

I looked at my husband and said, “This is why he won't shut up! They must have just taken him right of the tit!”


So of course, I tried bottle feeding that thing for the next 3 days while my husband and dad worked on a pasture (Because-impulse decisions), and just our luck… he wouldn't take it.


"Not Now Brown Cow" died a couple of days later, I don’t know whether it was from shock, depression, virus, malnourishment, or all of the above.


We tried our hardest to keep him alive by hydrating and giving him antibiotics.

It just wasn’t in the cards, I guess.


That’s when we learned from a man at the feed store that;

“He never leaves the parking lot of Kirbyville Auction without vaccinating them before they get in the trailer of his truck.”


Well hell, it makes sense, it's one big cesspool of viruses at those places.


It wasn’t about a week later, the "Coffee cow" started getting the scours and wouldn’t eat. Although by that time he was vaccinated.

I also noticed that there were a couple of big Holly berry bushes in the pasture.

That’s a no-no for cattle, FYI.


There went another spoiled Angus beef.

Named or not, it was still sad. And my poor husband felt pretty defeated. I'm sure it didn't help that I kept telling him, "I told you so!" I still feel bad about that.


Shit... Chickens, pigs, and now cows.

Animal Death was too familiar for the Grotte farm.



Bella survived whatever virus, or poison they got into.

I've never known a cow so strong-willed.

5 months and 20 times of her getting out of the pasture, my husband, neighbors, and kids chasing her through hundreds of acres of property, she finally decided she liked us.

If we make her angry, she turns her whole body when you talk to her and ignores us for about a week until she's calmed down. Like a jealous Girlfriend.



It sure has been a learning experience for us.

I believe we are doing pretty good for not growing up on a farm.

Of course, it probably doesn’t look like it from yalls side.

I know we must look like a bunch of crazy city folk tryin’ to be something we are not.


But although there has been a lot of death, there has been much life too.


Baby chicks, piglets, and hopefully a calf soon.


It wasn’t long before we purchased “Jolene” and not long after, "Father Abraham.” (Because we pray, he has many sons.)

Both bottle-fed, both full grown ‘n’ healthy.



Hell, I've even saved Abe's Life once, I learned how-to in a "Keeping Livestock Healthy" book I purchased off of EBay.

And that’s a fact, Jack!








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