On the evening before we took our steer away, I separated him, Julius, from the herd with an electric fence. I made sure one of his friends, a similarly aged steer called Joel was with him. The rest of the herd was on the other side of a strand of electrified polywire.
In the morning, I was amazed to see that Joel’s mother, an anxious and timid cow who never challenges fences, had somehow got over the fence without damaging it and was lying next to her son. It was like she knew enough about what was happening and wanted to be closer to Joel. They could have rubbed noses over the fence if that had been good enough.
When I went in to the paddock to bring Julius out to the lane and down to the trailer, I was amazed and pleased that Julius needed no encouragement or instruction. He walked straight onto the trailer. It was as calm as it could be.
What happens at the abattoir is out of my control but such a calm start to the journey can only help the quality of the meat.
A taxidermist who prepares props for the Game of Thrones may want Julius’ hide. I do hope so as it would be a fitting memorial for such a gentle and friendly animal.