The Farm Bull

There was no artificial insemination in the 1950s. Most every farmer had a bull. We had a big Hereford bull, reddish in color. We simply called him “Bull.” Bull’s job was to impregnate the cows or “to service.” Bull had a ring in his nose. He had horns that were about six inches that curled down and outward. Bull was kept in the Small Barn annex and later in a stall in the horse barn, a section of the Big Barn.

When we were very young kids, Dad would attach a leash with a snap hook to Bull’s nose ring, put us on top when he led him to water at the cow tank. Then Dad staked Bull in the pasture. A rope ran from his nose ring to a stake in the ground, allowing Bull a range of about 25 feet. His usual haunt was in the triangular piece of grassland south of the brooder house. In the evening Bull was led from his grazing area to the cow tank for watering, then to the horse barn and his overnight accommodations.

When I turned 14, taking care of Bull was added to my list of chores. I never worried about Bull turning angry and hurting anyone because every bull we had seemed to be gentle. Still, we heard stories of farmers being gored by a bull and killed. Continued…..


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