Away on Studcation

Mar
5

We started out this weekend’s little cow-moving adventure with several different possibilities of how it would be accomplished, but in the end, we set out in Ross’s truck (to pull) to meet SarahGrace and her family and neighbor (her “Farmer Wayne”) in Spencer where a trailer was supposed to be dropped off between Dairy Queen and Pizza Hut. We hadn’t gotten far when the muffler fell off Ross’s truck in the middle of the road. (Hmm. Not a good sign! Ross was irked!) We went back to pick up the muffler (by which time–the mere minutes it took to find some place to turn around–someone had run over it, though apparently they toodled right on their way because they weren’t in sight) and kept going. Ross’s truck wasn’t running well (aside from the muffler mishap), and by halfway to Spencer I was on my cell phone with one of the superboys. Ross and I thought we’d switch trucks with him and go back to get Ross’s truck later, thinking it wasn’t running well, so not a good idea to try to pull a trailer with it. Only when Sean met us at Dairy Queen, we saw that his truck doesn’t have a hitch.


So now we’ve lost the truck part of the equation. SarahGrace and her husband pulled in to the parking lot at Dairy Queen to tell us that the trailer part of the equation was also missing. But just as I thought, my cows aren’t going anywhere today, she said that Farmer Wayne had seen a farm with trailers on the side of the road and was back there right that minute trying to wrangle one for our use. I left Ross and one half of the superboys to work on Ross’s truck and climbed into SarahGrace’s Durango.

By the time we got to Farmer Wayne, he said he’d gotten “the wife” to say we could borrow one of their trailers. I said, “Let’s go before ‘the husband’ gets out of the bathroom and finds out what she’s done.” Cuz, like, Farmer Wayne didn’t know these people real well. And they didn’t know me at all. But the Durango could pull the kind of trailer they had, so we didn’t need a truck. Suddenly, we were a go again!

Hooking up!

They had pretty horses there.

We arrived at Sassafras Farm. BP and Glory Bee eyed the activity outside the rear gate to the barnyard with some suspicion.

Farmer Wayne with the trailer he stole for me. (I’M JUST KIDDING.)

Generally, BP is easy enough to lead and will go where you want her to go, though she occasionally digs in her heels and demands some explanation and says, “I don’t FEEL like it.” But really, the hardest part of getting her on a trailer is just getting her to step up onto it. We didn’t have a ramp, so it took a little convincing once I got her to the trailer, but we got her on there in a few minutes. Glory Bee was another thing altogether.

I’d have photos of all the following activity except that I was involved in the activity and it was all a little hectic so my camera was hanging on a fence post most of the time. For the first act of our desperate little production, I tried to take Glory Bee to the trailer the same way I took BP to the trailer. Meaning, I got up close to her and tried to snap the lead on and then I was just gonna say, “C’mon, sweetie, let’s go for a trip.” I got as far as the getting up close to her part. Then I started chasing her around the barnyard, which wears me out faster than it does her. (And yes, I had food. She was not moved by the food.)

For the second act, we decided we would open the gate and try to just run her into the trailer, which was parked directly outside the gate. (Too muddy to back the trailer into the barnyard.) There was a lineup of people to block her escape other than to shoot straight for the trailer–my kids, SarahGrace’s family, Farmer Wayne….. Except Glory Bee decided to dart through the space between the trailer and the fence, which was unfortunately unmanned, and off she went toward the road. Luckily, we herded her back around before she got to the road and spent a few minutes running her everywhere except into the trailer.

For the final act, I finally remembered everything I know about this brat. You can never run Glory Bee where you want her to go if she has too many options. I said, “Let’s run her back into the barnyard.” After herding her back in there and shutting the gate, I went around to the front of the barn, shut up the sheep and donkeys in a stall (just for good measure), shut the front alleyway door, went through the alleyway to the back alleyway door, flung it open and said, “Dearest Glory Bee, would you like to take a tour of the barn?”

Because I never let the cows in the barn, this was too exciting to be resisted and Glory Bee scampered on in. I shut the back alleyway door and then she was trapped in the barn. She was still investigating, so she didn’t realize this yet. She sidled on into a stall and I slammed the stall door shut. Then I brought in 50 men to lead her to the trailer. Okay, just two, but 50 wouldn’t have been a bad idea. SarahGrace’s husband, who is in the Air Force, came in the stall and said, “I’m not really a farmer, Glory Bee, so don’t worry.” I’ll have to try that line on her sometime. Then he and Farmer Wayne each snapped a lead on her, and in a few minutes, she was on the trailer with mommy. HA.

Look at that face. I have no idea how I’m ever going to milk this cow.

I have high hopes for the magic calm that is supposed to come over a milk cow after she’s calved.

Unloading is always easier than loading. Back at SarahGrace’s farm, the men kept two leads on Glory Bee as she came off the trailer, but she didn’t kick up a fuss. The cows were happy to get off the trailer and unpack at their honeymoon destination.

This is SarahGrace’s beautiful cow Bessie.

And this is the Mister. He is a Limousin bull.

Bessie is due in April with his first child. Or five-hundredth. I think he’s Farmer Wayne’s only bull, but he’s not currently dating Farmer Wayne’s cows. He’s hanging with SarahGrace’s cows right now. He greeted everyone thoroughly.

And so, there they are! On studcation! I hope they send postcards! And huge thanks to SarahGrace, her family, and Farmer Wayne for orchestrating a love life for my cows.

P.S. By the time I got back home, Ross was home, having figured out what was wrong with his truck and gotten it fixed. He heads back to South Carolina and will finish up nuclear power school in another month (and hopefully get a chance to come home again before he ships out).

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Posted by Suzanne McMinn on March 5, 2012  

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Comments

22 Responses | RSS feed for comments on this post

  1. 3-5
    2:35
    am

    Whew! What a trip!

  2. 3-5
    5:25
    am

    I realise there is no such thing as a ‘plan’ if you have cows! :cowsleep:

  3. 3-5
    6:35
    am

    Wow, ready to go back to bed after reading this, lol I bet you slept well last night!

  4. 3-5
    7:39
    am

    We’ll all be praying motherhood calms that devil down!

  5. 3-5
    7:47
    am

    LOL! GB is one ticked-off bovine! She’s a wild heifer-good luck with the milking dream!:)

  6. 3-5
    7:51
    am

    Wow, what a day! Thank Goodness for family, friends and neighbors.
    At least you won’t have to go over there with the milking machine every day!

  7. 3-5
    8:31
    am

    Getting cattle to walk into a dark, narrow space goes against all their self-preservation instincts. If a boss cow will go first, the battle is won. Otherwise…

  8. 3-5
    9:00
    am

    It’s so nice to start my day laughing.

    Hopefully there will soon be babies on the way.

    Maybe GB will get a baby just like her and it
    will be payback for how she worried poor BP.

    Maybe you’ll be lucky Suzanne and get a sweet
    little HONEY BEE.

    I’m hoping for girls for both of them.

  9. 3-5
    9:07
    am

    Please stop- step back- and decide which way you want – You may want the best of two worlds. How would you like to add a bull into the mix. It is obvious that you are not equipped or have the facilities to handle cattle. I know you want to be independent..but look how much effort went into trying to move the cows…..consider your other options…Your farm is safe for families and you can always turn the lock on your lodge and get away for a few days. When you make your first million – Look forward and not backward. Worry looks around; Sorry looks back; Faith looks up. I want the best for you.

  10. 3-5
    9:10
    am

    MMHoney, I’m not getting a bull. I decided against that. That’s why I sent the girls to a bull!

  11. 3-5
    9:53
    am

    That bratty GB will never make things easy for you! NEVER!!NEVER!! EVER!! do you hear me??NEVER!! ever!! It’s a good thing she’so cute.

  12. 3-5
    10:14
    am

    Quite a saga! Glad it all worked out in the end. I assume the “stolen” trailer was returned with suitable baked goods as well?

    I hope GB’s impending motherhood makes her absolutely MEEK!

    teacup

  13. 3-5
    10:33
    am

    Never a dull moment at your farm. I enjoy all your stories.
    MN Mona

  14. 3-5
    10:41
    am

    Oh, I can relate….except with horses, not cows. One of mine will absolutely not load into some trailers. No way, now how. Step up trailers are on that list! He’s never thrilled to go for a ride although I think he likes being at shows and trailrides. Good thing you aren’t trying to show your girls!!! Hope they enjoy their time away….looks like a lovely location. 8)

  15. 3-5
    1:40
    pm

    Man! That was exciting! Hope they get knocked up soon :)

  16. 3-5
    1:51
    pm

    Are you sure you want to calve in December? Not that you can change it now as the girls have probably already been on dates with Mr. Bull, but calving in the winter is kinda risky, higher calf mortality, etc. Just throwing that out there. Farmers who want spring calves turn the bull in with the cows in May, and farmers who want fall calves turn him in with the cows in Nov. :cowsleep:

  17. 3-5
    2:14
    pm

    Window on the Prairie, at this point I want to calve ANY TIME. I had a plan. It didn’t work.

  18. 3-5
    2:35
    pm

    I think it is a good thing that Ross’ truck did what it did, when it did, rather than on his way back to S.C. Glad he could get it fixed before he left headed back from his visit.

  19. 3-5
    5:51
    pm

    Well, milking GB will be like milking Clover – on steroids! lol

    Here’s hoping she does settle down. Sometimes, being an only child leaves one a little wild and self-indulgent. And then the baby shows up and you settle down.

    Actually, I’ll bet you do great with her. You’ve learned to milk by hand as well as machine. Clover may have been balking because she knew you didn’t know what you were doing. But now you know the drill and GB knows you know the drill. You’ll handle her differently than you did Clover and that will be to your advantage.

  20. 3-5
    6:03
    pm

    Well, all I’ve got to say is that folks in your part of the land are amazingly kind and generous!! A virtual stranger comes to your door and asks to borrow your trailer for a total stranger!! Make a batch of grandmother’s bread or other goodies and drop off a visible thank you cause you’ve GOT to keep on the good side of all these amazingly helpful folks.

    On the Glory Bee front, all we can do is hope. Maybe her fascination with the barn is a GOOD thing. Once you get a milking parlor set up she’ll trot right in to see it. A bribe of something especially yummy to eat and she’ll probably tolerate getting tied to a post and brushed. Once she gets used to that, some handling of her udders. You WILL tame your wild cow.

  21. 3-5
    6:07
    pm

    Suzanne, no problem not having the camera going taking pics. This was such a clear visual. I felt like I was right there with you in line keeping her going in the right direction. Oh my! That brought back so many memories from a child when my great aunt would be loading one of her cows in the trailer. ha So glad all worked out well. Now you can sit back and have a chuckle over it. :)

  22. 3-6
    12:17
    am

    Boy, you’re gonna be busy baking grandmother’s bread after all that help: SarahGrace, Farmer Wayne, the trailer owner, Sean… Seems like there are a lot of people around there with a “get ‘er done” attitude.

    I hope you have someone holding a movie camera the first time you try to milk GB.

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