Murphy Part II

As much as I hate to admit it, it has taken me a week and a half to finish this post…..so…on with it.

Well, I am sure you have heard.  My folks are back so the mayhem can stop now…No really, I am being a little melodramatic but it never fails that things will go wrong if they can when the parents are away.

You can find Part I of this story here.

We left off with…..

Day 5……IT WAS FINE!

Day 6……Mae and I are finished with checking and moving cows and are headed back to the gate.  For some reason, I hesitate before I get in the truck and study the handful of cows in front of us…Something is off and I can’t tell what yet.  Ok……Now I see it.  There is a full-grown cow dragging/wearing a large ball of high tensile wire.  I am sorry I don’t have a picture of this because I just stood there in awe.   A few nights prior, Eddie pointed out the large twisted mess of wire that he had found while brush hogging a few weeks ago and had stashed under a shade tree to get it out of the way.  Well, no one remembered to haul it out of the field so a cow proceeded to put her head through it first and then step into the tangled mess.  Picture wire around the cow’s head, neck and feet.  She wasn’t bothered by or hindered in any way.  She was grazing happily.  My first thought was to step on the wire and she if when she moved forward if I could get the wire to stay behind.  That was a no go. She was wrapped up way to much for that.  Mae was in the truck hollering out the window so I headed back to the house to call Eddie. After work he followed the cow around for about 30 minutes all the while using a bolt cutters to clip off all of the wire.  It is a damn good thing we have relatively tame cows.  Crisis averted.

Just in case you are wondering the orgin of the wire….That is still a mystery. No one is claiming to know anything about……Hmmmm…..

Day 7 -10…Pleasantly uneventful.

Day 11…. Mae and I checked cows late one afternoon.  We had just met the lime spreading truck driver to give him a tour of the fields that are getting lime in preparation for a seeding next spring.  When we entered the field, I saw a cow off on her own.  During calving season this usually means a new calf.  And sure enough it was.  I drug out the box of cattle supplies from behind the seat and worked up a new ear tag for this calf.  We have our own numbering system for our cattle and fill out our own blank tags.  As I am writing down the number…this is the conversation that was rolling around in my head:

“Whoaaaaaa.  I have written this number for a calf from this mama before.  If fact, I am pretty damn sure I did this yesterday. What does the record book say? Yes, I thought so.  This cow calved yesterday.  Maybe I did a crummy job with the tag and it has already fallen off.  Didn’t we band this bull calf?  Ok, let’s go check.  Nope, no band.  No hole from an ear tag. Do we have two cows with the same number by mistake?  Am I losing my mind?

I tagged and banded this calf and placed the tag on the wrong ear intentionally.  Called Eddie to verify the cow numbers from the previous day.  Threw my hands up in the air and we headed back to the house confused.  Eddie went by the field on his way to the house when he got off work and there was 1163 cow standing just where I left her with her TWIN calves.  Mystery solved.  Mama cow had hid the first calf very well while having the second.  Even though we have two calves with the same number at least there are in different ears.

We have been raising cows for many years and this is the first year we have ever had twins. In fact, this makes two sets this year.

Day 12…..Cold, dreary, gloomy day.  We have a few calves that are dragging around and not looking so perky.  A couple have scours and are in need of a bolus.  I had picked up a few new bolus’ at the feed store earlier in the week but of course when I got them home, it was quickly evident that they didn’t fit in the bolus gun.  The feed store must have changed brands of bolus‘ and we have the old applicator.  Time to do it the old fashion way.  Open the calves mouth and do our best to get the calf to swallow the oversized bolus‘ pill. Kinda of like getting a toddler to swallow a pill or take a syringe full of antibiotic.  Very tricky.

It is critical to get the bolus down the esophagus and not the trachea.  Here is how it should work if we had the correct bolus gun. Check out the video.

Instead, I had my hand in the calf’s mouth doing my best to get the pill over the tongue but not into the lungs. After I did the best I could, the calf stood there mulling it over with its tongue.  I must have asked Eddie if the calf was breathing at least three times.  After what seems like an hour but was more likely 30 seconds, the calf shoots the bolus back out of its mouth on the ground and walks away.  I grabbed up the soaking wet bolus in hopes that it would now fit in the bolus gun.  No luck with that either.  Time for a new bolus gun.

This wraps up our recap of adventures on the farm while short a few hands.  We never know what each day will bring.

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