You $*@+=%!# Cow!

Lucy in the pasture
Lucy in the pasture

Agh! I have had it! Between the never ending fence and the lack of cow milking going on around here, I could just scream. I have decided I am going to build an actual milking stanchion. No more of this dancing around the barn and chasing cows in or out to where ever they are supposed to be.

I had Lucy trained so well I could have milked her just loosely tied to the fence rail with no problem. It was determined that I was too pregnant to milk at the time, so no pen was set up to separate Elvis and Lucy. I am quite positive I could have sat on the barn floor and milked her just fine. Getting up would have been a sight, but I was always alone in the barn anyway.

After the little Miss was born and I was back to doing chores, we got a pen together for Elvis. I started working with Lucy again. She walked on a lead rope just fine but anything else… nope. She was not having any of it. The other two were no help in the matter either. Every time I step into the pen they start to play musical feeders; horn to rump pushing each other out of the way. It makes it very difficult to accomplish much. I did shut the other two outside a time or two. That worked okay but I spent more of the time I had, chasing cows rather then working with Lucy.

I know it’s not all Lucy’s fault, I should have kept up working with her through the last couple weeks of pregnancy and maternity leave. I whimped out, it was cold, my coveralls didn’t fit and I was tired. All poor excuses but that’s all I’ve got. She didn’t need to go and forget everything we worked so hard on up to that point though either!

As far as the fence goes, we have been almost done for quite some time now. I might as well sing the song that never ends when I am out working on it.

“This is the fence that never ends. Yes it goes on and on my friend. Someone started stringing it not knowing what it was, and they’ll continue stringing it forever just because…” (repeat) Ahhh!
My fencing rendition of the 1988 “Song that never ends” by Norman Martin.

We got the wood posts in and started stringing the barbed wire. Then decided we need a couple more gates, added a couple more posts to support those. Next the steel posts went in. Insulators on those and started stringing the hot wire. Added more insulators to the wood posts. Reworked how the electric would run to adjust for the new gates. Almost had everything strung and ready to turn on when we realized all five wire gates need to be redone so they don’t short out the whole thing when unhooked.

In the mean time the cows have been allowed into the first paddock to graze while I am home. Chest high grass and alfalfa for them to eat and Elvis has to climb through my temporary gate to eat what’s one the other side (it’s the same thing!). At this point I don’t need a rope and halter to take him for a walk. We go for an evening walk quite regularly lately.

This weekend, that fence is going to be finished. It has to be.

Wheezy and Elvis
Wheezy and Elvis

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  1. a bit of a stern title for animals that you love and who love you and provide for you what should belong to their young. and all because they don’t ‘put out’ in a way or fashion or as submissively as you’d like them to. small poem:

    frustration aside, gratitude should reign,
    for all we take and use them for, they still remain
    (albeit not by their choice) 🙁
    Enjoy the day that the Lord has made. rejoice and be glad in it.

    1. In discussing fencing and cows with an older gentleman, he reminisced about a cow they had- the best milk cow, easy to milk and great producer. That cow always jumped the fence so she spent her life with a leather strap around her neck dragging a fence post to keep her from jumping. My cows get out from time to time but I just herd them back in and hope they don’t end up on the road before that point. I sure wouldn’t make them drag a post. After his story I smiled and nodded and that was that. I wasn’t going to point out that that is no life for a cow. I have yet to get to milk our cow. Which is a goal of mine- to provide my family with fresh dairy, from a cow that I know has been treated and fed well.
      I have had my arm smashed between a cows head and fence rail when I was trying to put their grain treat in the feeder. I have been trying to clean their pen when they start chasing one another in the barn sending me over the fence. I have also been kicked by a horse from being in the wrong place at the wrong time. At 120 lbs soaking wet, any number of farm animals could take me out with a sneeze. Beloved animal or not, most anyone who has been in a situation such as these or something similar uses such language. It’s been more than once I have threatened to hang their horns on the barn wall next to the other set and let them rest in peace in the freezer. Right or wrong not everyone is perfect.
      I am going to guess that you and I do not have the same views on livestock. I respect that. You criticize in a very condescending manner and I don’t appreciate that. I don’t always understand where another person is coming from or have had their experiences but I do make the effort to not put myself above them. God loves each of us equally. I do rejoice in the day and thank God for everything he has graced my family and I with.

      1. If I’ve offended in what I’ve said or how I’ve said it I apologize. I was attempting to provide a different pov. Coming from Kansas originally myself I once thought, believed and acted as you do now. Came to the opinion that animals are not our property nor are they machines to produce food for us. If that’s not where you are I guess we will inevitably disagree.
        Anyways, I was aparantly rude in attempting to provide a counter comment. I’m sorry. It is your blog and your free to do as you wish.

  2. Let me give you some relief about the hotwire. We managed to go almost 2 weeks with the hotwire turned OFF, without our two Chondro-Positives figuring it out. The trick is to turn them out with it on, until they all get ‘bitten’ by it. They have to learn how to respect the wire. And they all DO. Artist will come out to his ‘new’ area after we get it moved for him and before we get back to the yard to turn the hotwire back on. 1100 lbs. of pure muscle gives total respect! But the one thing we never do in their sight whenever it is turned off is… climbing under/over and through it! Once they see you do it… you’re screwed!

    Build the stanchion. It’ll calm both of you. We’ve been putting Cora into our chute and milking her. Also… remember to think about the calendar when she starts showing her butt and just totally rebelling. Is she cycling? Is it time for a heat?

    If you think she doesn’t realize you’ve had the baby… you’re wrong! And you’re being tested. Show her who is boss. And don’t let her fool you into thinking she forgot everything you taught her. Dexters are renown for having an impressive level of mental retention.

    There will always be the bad days. Just had one with Cora this evening. But like I said… it was time to think about the calendar. Not every day has to be perfect. And no bad day means we’re failures. We just get to scratch ’em off the calendar a little earlier in the day… remember that tomorrow is a new day… and use it for an excuse to do something relaxing and/or different for the rest of the evening. If she gets to show spite… so do you! Spend your time sewing, painting, whatever you like to do for fun. Then watch what happens come the next morning!

    1. Thank you for the encouragement. Last summer we had a temporary electric fence up and it kept Lucy and Wheezy in quite well. There were a few days it was off but not many. It’s good to know that it won’t have to be on all the time.
      You have many good points. Thank you again for the advice.