So, we had some cow-ventures today. What should have been about a 2 hour feeding chore ended up taking over 5 hours, but, what the hell, it’s how we roll.
When Kopp first asked me this morning to help him my first response was to piss off because he’s been a very grouchy patient these last 2+ days (Christmas plague, which I had first but powered through) so I explained that grouchy people don’t usually get help. I made him beg for a while as he professed his profound apologies and basic butt-kissery and finally decided he repented enough and bundled up to brave the arctic temperatures to help feed.
As soon as we got to the barn to fill the feed buckets we saw that the little heifers had gotten in the field with the bred heifers…..shoot, that’s not good. Kopp checked the fence and it was out which is how they got mixed together so off we went to get our fencing supplies. Of course it wasn’t a quick fix, oh, heck no, this was going to require some re-wiring. Up to the shed to get the drill and new wire then back down to the barn to begin the rigging. Got the new wire mounted in the barn, under the back barn wall and up to the gate.
Mind you it’s -10 degrees, that’s pretty darn cold to be forcing your fingers to work a bunch of wire and such. No matter, we got this! Kopp says, “I can’t get a reading on the fence reader, everything too frozen to get it grounded for a reading. I really don’t want to do this but somebody is gonna have to touch the wire and see if it’s hot.” I thought that was kind of a silly thing to say to me, almost like he was hoping I would volunteer to do it. “Knock yourself out, Sparky!”, I said. He took his gloves off, ready to grab the wire, just as one of the barn cats saunters by (they do that a lot, act like royalty or something). For a brief moment we both glanced at the cat and then at each other. Thankfully we didn’t act on our thoughts and we laughed nervously as the cat ran off… (Pretty sure he knew what we were thinking… heh,heh).
Kopp ended up grounding the fencer to the t-post and got a nice reading so the fence was up and running. Now to separate the herds… ugh. Most of the little heifers went back to the bottom and the bred heifers cooperated nicely to their pasture. Except 4 dumb little heifers. We walked the fence and power line at least five freaking times trying to get these little guys to the bottom. We ended up having to open up a gap at the other end of the power line because they flat out refused to go out the easy way.
About another hour has gone by at this point and we still haven’t fed everyone else. So we gathered up the fencing crap, put it all back in the upper shed, and head to the neighbors to feed the bulls and the herd across the road. We also needed to fire up the neighbors wood furnace because they were out of town at a wedding so naturally since we were over 2 hours late getting up there the furnace was pretty much out. Super. Get some embers going and commence to feed the bulls in the barn. Kopp is checking the water while I scooped feed and hay. Shit, the waterer is frozen. Up to the furnace we go to get some hot water to pour over the waterer to get it unthawed but wait! We had only just restarted the furnace so of course the water isn’t hot yet! LOL!!! Silly us, how stupid of us the even think of THAT!
We chipped away at the water that was in there while we waited for the water to heat up, poor bulls were thirsty. Finally it was warmed enough to unthaw the spicket in the waterer (four 5-gallon buckets later) and we were ready to feed across the road.
Guess what was waiting for us? Surprise twin calves!! They must have been born last night, six weeks early according to our paperwork, but apparently healthy. We tagged them both and got the little bull calf banded, hopefully all will still be well in the morning otherwise we might need to bottle feed one of them… We’ll see.
When we made it back to the house 5-1/2 hours later, I kept playing a country music video in my head. You know how most videos have these skinny girls all dolled up in short shorts and boots with hair flying as they dance around all stupid and stuff? I thought, why the hell not make a music video with real country women in them? All bundled up in carhartt overalls and muck boots with frozen snot glistening in the arctic sun? Hair flying in a pile on top of your head as you run across the pasture in slow motion? I could totally rock the short shorts only because they get ripped from barbed fencing and it might look kind of cool having cow shit fly off my boots in slow motion, too, ya know? Real country women with fat rolls, stretch marks, frozen snot-faces in the winter and wicked sweat stains in the summer and screw cowgirl boots. We can rock a pair of muck boots! I would love to see a country music video with THAT kind of visual eye candy. Okay, maybe not really but I still had fun directing it in my mind. “Sigh”.
For now I’ll finish unthawing, make another mug of theraflu for Kopp and continue to dream of someday being a famous farmers wife in my very own country music video.