Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Wanted Cow: Milking Or Dry

Most of the time the cows are on a good schedule. They come in from the pasture, eat, drink, get milked, eat again, and go back out. Twice daily and all. But there are exceptions.

Saturday was a different day. I opened the gate to let the cows come in to eat. I watched them walk in from the pasture.


Then it happened. One cow slipped in the feed way which panicked another cow and another and....

That's right, dominoes. They all took off toward the milk barn and looked left, right, and left again to see if they could see what was out to get them. In order to calm them down I turned on the silage conveyors to remind them they were here to eat. It worked. Slowly, very slowly, they walked back to the feed way and began eating.

Then I saw my friend in the field, Whitey, who did not come in. And she had seen the huge commotion and was currently holding her head high in the air, sniffing and looking around. So, like the Good Shepherd in the parable, I left the cows that were now eating to go fetch the "lost" one in the field. Of course, that's where the comparison ends.

Whitey was so scared that she refused to come in from the field. I got her to come to the lane once and that was as close as I could get her. Perhaps if I were on horseback, no, perhaps if I had a team of mounted cowboys we could've brought her in, but I didn't. So I left her in the field.

The same way you have to learn there are some battles you can't win with a three year old, there are also some battles you can't win with a cow. She eventually came in and ate after all the cows had been milked. We got her the next morning and she was fine and calm, as were the rest of the cows.

Some days are crazy, even on a dairy farm.

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