Monday, February 15, 2016

Mystery and Danger on the Farm

Last night when we went to bed the  dogs were agitated and barking because the great -horned owls were calling. (Or rather, the herding dogs were upset; Moji, the rat terrier was oblivious to this potential danger.

So, when the dogs had a couple of intense barking fits during the night, I got up to make sure the cows hadn't gotten out, didn't see anything out the window, and attributed the frantic barking to owls coming closer.

This morning when I went out to do chores, the cans of feed were tipped over, uncovered and spilled. We keep them tightly covered to deter rodents--this was not the work of a mouse or rat! Must be raccoons!! No wonder the dogs had been barking so fiercely. I went back out to check for raccoon tracks in the fresh snow.
What!? Hoof prints! It was a cow!
But both of my cows were safely inside the fence and the gate and barn doors were still securely latched. Could one of the Kuhlmann's dairy cows gotten loose and come over to explore? (I am so naive! I actually thought this.)
I gave the cows some hay, then looked around inside the pasture for  signs of escape. Aha!  A large, dead branch had fallen across the electric fence (strung inside our pathetic chain link fence - replacement is on the To Do list for spring.)
Some cow or cows had just stepped over the fallen wire, scrunched the  chain link fence down, climbed over and helped themselves to a midnight snack, then returned  home.
I  removed the branch, fixed the  wire, then hauled the branch up to the gate and threw it over into the yard - nice, dry wood that will be great for starting today's bread-baking fire.
I  now noticed the guilty look and the  burrs on LaFonda's face- evidence she had gotten out.
Jitterbug was also covered in burrs and looked quite guilty (or is that a tummy-ache look?) They must have  collaborated in this scheme. I did not give them a bucket of feed, their usual morning treat--only hay.They had had enough treats.

After throwing the branch over the  gate, I started back between the barns and WHOMP!! My feet went out from under me and I landed flat in my back on the ice, hitting my head hard.

I am ok, but so sore and have a splitting headache. My throat is raw from the wail I let out involuntarily when I fell - I bet it could be heard for half a mile. (I think the last time I wailed like that I was giving birth.)  I am just happy I did not break anything, did not see stars (so I don't think I have a concussion) and my camera (which was hanging around my neck) seems to be ok and did not flip up and  break my glasses or my teeth. As I lay on the ice in agony LaFonda just stood there and looked at me like, "See what we have to navigate all day?"

Fresh snow on top of ice,with warming temps and wearing muck boots is a treacherous combination.
I think I will go spread some ashes in that area now for better traction for farmers and cows.

1 comment:

Marcia said...

Looks like your cows knew exactly what they were doing! Glad to hear you are not hurt too badly with nothing broken. take care.