Draft Animal Power – Draft animals and sustainable land stewardship › Forums › Draft Animal Power › Mules › Of mules and milk cows telling time
- This topic has 2 replies, 3 voices, and was last updated 11 years, 10 months ago by Anonymous.
- February 3, 2008 at 4:11 am #39438CIWParticipant
My grandad had a span of grey mules that he raised on the ranch in the Sandhills. They had spent their entire lives on the same ground. Doing the same tasks, year in and year out.
My gramma was a very punctual person, in life. She always had meals at the same time each day. Like the tide or the rising and setting of the sun.
He said that this team could tell time. At about 11:50 they would start to get balky about doing the days work if you didn’t head for the house. They weren’t barn sour. They just knew where they were to be in the tie stalls during dinner time. If my grandad tried to work though dinner he would end up in a mess.
This would situation would repeat itself just before 17:00, when was to be home to start milking.
Grandad said that they would scold you, if you were late to feed in the morning, just as cows did, if you were late to milk.
On another thread there was mention of raising animals from babies, and how it will positively effect their performance.
I know from first hand knowledge that mules and milk cows can tell time, and that if you being late effected what they are to be doing at a certain time, they will tell you about it. They carry a work ethic of high certainty. Once they have learned a job they don’t like it being suddenly changed without there being a good reason. And doing so greatly effects their performance.
We had a Swiss cow that seemed to not like my brother. If he milked her, he would always have to tie her tail up or she would be a switching him in the face or dumping the bucket. My daddy said he wasn’t holding her right. Anybody else she was fine though.
Mules are of similar fashion. They like to have a vote in the way things are going to happen. We need to learn to trust them enough to let them make some of the small decisions. Choose our wars, so to speak.
One day my uncles, as a joke, put a tick tock watch around one of the mules ankles. My grandad laughed until his death, concerning mules being able to tell time.February 25, 2008 at 1:51 am #45558Iron RoseParticipant
My Dad always used to tell the story of the time when he was a kid he worked for a farmer. The first day that he had to cultivale corn with a pair of Mules. The farmer gave him his pocket watch and told him to keep track of the time and if he couldn’t make it to the far end and turn back for home not to try. Seems that if the mules heard the noon whistle from town and they were headed away from home they would just turn around and go home. If they were headed towards home they would stay on the row to they end then go home.May 30, 2008 at 2:47 am #45559
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