And Then I Broke A Nail!


Grass, it is a-growing! And so last week, I moved Glory Bee and Dumplin onto pasture. Dumplin danced all over the field like she’d never seen grass before.

Because she’s never seen grass before.

Glory Bee didn’t do any dancing, but she put her head down in the beautiful green and didn’t pick it back up for hours.
It’s been a long, slow, drawn-out late winter and early spring here. I finally got tired of milking in the cold, icy mornings and slacked off. Because that’s the kind of milk maid I am. (Lazy and whiny.) With the warmer weather coming on, I was ready to get back to it, though, so Adam came up with a makeshift chute to help me bring Glory Bee and baby back to the barn when needed.

Between the cow field and the back barn yard are two access roads that lead to properties back in the holler behind my farm. Adam set up a new, small gate at the back of the cow field.
Between the access roads, he set up fencing in a chute.
There’s fence wire and a hook to pull across the access roads when moving animals.
The back barn yard gate takes the place of fencing on one side when it’s opened for cows to pass through.
I conducted the first test when I went to milking this weekend. It worked like a charm except for that rambunctious Dumplin, who broke down the fence on one side. That will be reinforced today.
Meanwhile, I had to separate mama and baby overnight so I could milk in the morning. I hadn’t really made up my mind where I was going to put Dumplin. I had an idea to put her in the goat yard, so she’d have company, and she wouldn’t be directly across a fence line from her mama. I thought that might make it less likely that one or both of them would break the fence down to get to each other.

I brought Glory Bee into the milking parlor–not because I was going to milk her, but just to get Dumplin contained. Due to my laziness, I haven’t worked with Dumplin much in the past month. I shut the door on the milking parlor stall and it was just me, Glory Bee, and the wild one.

Morgan, who had blithely stated that she could get a lead on Dumplin all by herself about a month ago–and found out that wasn’t the small feat she expected–was having none of it. “It’s your cow!” Ha. She stood outside the milking parlor stall to watch the show. Dumplin ran under Glory Bee. I chased her out from under there while Glory Bee ate some feed I’d brought her as if a rodeo wasn’t going on around her. I cornered Dumplin several times before I managed to snap the lead on her.

I dragged her kicking and mooing out of the milking parlor. Apparently, she’s been eating well because she weighs a whole lot more than the last time I dragged her around. Whenever the farrier is wrestling Poky, he says, “You ain’t gonna win!”

Dumplin bucked and dragged me around. I dragged her around back and told her, “You ain’t gonna win!”

I walked her around the barn yard, working with her while trying to decide where to put her. If you can call this walking her.
It was more like tug-of-war, and she was frothing at the mouth mad.
And I broke a nail.
But I won!
Then I put Glory Bee in the back barn yard till milking time in the morning, and shut Dumplin up in the barn since the goats were looking at her like she was a scary monster and I really didn’t think the goat yard was going to be a good idea, after all. (No reason to upset EVERYBODY.)

Morgan was taking pictures of me, then got bored with me and the bad baby so she started taking pictures of Chloe. (Who would have loved nothing more than to get over the fence and play with that wild calf!)
I’ll be working with Dumplin every time I bring them over for milking.

Cowed baby cow:
It’s going to be a fun spring! Right, Dumplin?

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Posted by Suzanne McMinn on April 8, 2013  

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12 Responses | RSS feed for comments on this post

  1. 4-8

    Spring time !!! Most say it is like starting over, but, as you know, work is never finished on the farm. Spring fever hit Nancy and I here is Kinard Fl. The only animals we have are chickens and peacocks, but we have been hard at work on flower beds and lawns.

  2. 4-8

    Sounds like fun. :?

    I need to ask, . . . how did you manage to break only 1 nail? I would not have any nails remaining after that experience!

  3. 4-8

    On colts, you use a long line and wrap it around the rump pulling at the same time you try to lead them. Don’t know if that will work on cows.

  4. 4-8

    How to lead a stubborn calf (I know you’ve been waiting for someone to tell you!):
    1st you grow two extra arms and hands. One of those extra arms needs to be extra stretchy.
    2nd in one of the extra hands carry a container of feed.
    3rd as you are using two hands to pull the lead, one hand to carry feed to tempt the stubborn calf, use your stretchy arm and hand to slap the calf on it’s rump.
    Make sure you wear steel enforced toed boots so that as the calf bounds forward your toes don’t break as she steps on your feet. Oh and keep your hand steady as you’re carrying the feed because if you spill it the calf will stop and fight the chickens to eat it.
    That is how you should be leading a calf, dear Suzanne. :cowsleep:

  5. 4-8

    Sounds like you had a fun time! But you can control Dumplin because you have a halter on her.
    Are those daffodils in pics 2 & 3? They are my favorite spring flowers. Mine are only up about 4 inches, it will be 2-3 weeks before they bloom.
    Do you have any other flowers in bloom yet?
    Have a wonderful week!

  6. 4-8

    Oooo, the look on her face in the last photo pretty much says it all. She is not going to tame easy, but ‘she ain’t gonna win!’.

  7. 4-8

    Ummm, I thinking it looks more like Dumplin is plotting her strategy for your next round of Sassafras Rodeo. :D She’s got that This Ain’t Over Yet look.
    Out of curiosity how much maple syrup did you end up with?


  8. 4-8

    On the bright side, you don’t need to spend money on a gym membership.

  9. 4-8

    I think you should have tied her securely to a stout pole or post for awhile so she could learn to give to pressure without dragging you around!

  10. 4-8

    Too funny!! I just wanted to be there to help you! Waiting for Chapter 2…

  11. 4-8

    You did have a good time with the animals last weekend. Just a question; would a specific treat from you when working with her be an incentive….something she wouldn’t usually get? Can calves have apples or a couple of slices? Is that the crooked little hen watching the action? I see Mr Goose in the background. You and the critters bring alot of smiles, thank you.

  12. 4-9

    looks to me like you have made a good deal of head way already. She tamed quite a bit. Good luck and BLESSINGS. I’ve broken a share of nails on calves myself. Try 5 at a time.

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