From Pipi’s Pasture: One of those days
We all experience “those days.” Mine began at 3:30 this morning. (It’s Monday, too.) I was awakened by the sound of a cow’s bawl; that’s what it was—one bawl. I thought the cow was probably hunting up her calf.
It was quiet for maybe ten minutes. Then it was followed by a series of without-taking-a-breath bawls. The cow seemed to be moving around from the front of the house to the back so I still figured that she was calling for her calf. I hoped that was the case—that the calf wasn’t sick.
The bawling went on. It was dark so I knew that it wouldn’t do any good to go outdoors. Pretty soon the noise quieted down. It wasn’t so frantic. I even thought that the cow might have located the calf. But then the cow went on with her mooing.
Finally, at 5:30, when there was a little more light, I got dressed, zipped up my jacket, and went outside. I found a month-old calf, belonging to one of my twin cows, in the backyard. I also found that a piece of the backyard chain-link fence had been pushed over. I was half awake so I stood there trying to figure out how the calf and the fence were related. Turns out, they weren’t.
The fence is on one side of the yard next to the drive that leads to the pasture. I know that this type of fencing isn’t cow-proof, but when we moved here the entire backyard was fenced with chain-link material. We reinforced the fence with metal panels—all except for this little section. Up until this year there weren’t any cows around the fence. This spring, for calving purposes, I made a pen out of the driveway, with chain-link on one side and barbed wire on the other. Recently, Sarah, my twenty-five-year-old cow, has been residing in the pen since her corral is filled with animals that will be sold shortly. Sarah has a lot of winter hair so she has been rubbing on everything. Since the pushed-down section of fence is covered with light-colored hair, she must have pushed it down.
I managed to get the calf back with his mom, the bawling stopped, and I came back to the house until feeding time. However, first I checked the front fence, and, sure enough, I found places where the calf could have crawled under. From there he traveled to the backyard, entered a partially-opened gate, and stood there with his mother on the other side.
Sarah has always been a feisty cow and has managed to hold her own, but now, due to her age, she lets others fight her away from hay. That’s why she has been in the pen. However, this morning I let her out into the pasture. I made early-morning calls to have the fences repaired, and I left the cows and calves in one side of the corral until the repairs can be made.
Last, I checked the stock tanks, and that’s when I noticed a skunk eating cat food. Yikes! However, he just ran under a trailer. I also noticed that Sarah was doing just fine with the cows. It hasn’t been too bad for one of “those days.” However, the day isn’t over yet.
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