Monday, May 30, 2016

Cows done


Two smallest victims
I spent my Sunday communing with the cows.  While Annmarie and Sarah went to church I decided to get the cows all done.  I headed out to the corral without the dogs.  I did not want the cows riled up any more and they had all night to calm down from the move.  Of course all the water and food had been eaten during the night and the cows were all at the far end of the barn lot.  I went into the barn and got a shaker stick for each arm and started herding the cows into the corral.  It only took me five minutes and a few swats with the shaky stick when the noise was not sufficient motivation to move toward the corral.  with the four different pen areas I let the animals sort themselves out while I went and grabbed tags and the banderator.  I could tell at least one of the calves was a boy.  The bull went straight for the food and everyone left him alone so I opened the chute and let him wander out.  This opened up another pen to sort into.  I managed to sort off both little calves and one of the older ones.  I didn't need the older one but it just would not easily leave the pen.  This helped me when I crowded the calves into the corner, more warm bodies slows everyone down.  I grabbed the girl first as I only had to tag her left ear.  I could lift her off the ground and set her on her butt however when I let go with my right hand to grab the ear tagger from my right back pocket she got away! I had to catch her again but this time I was faster and got the ear tag in place. 
I needed a five minute break to apply the boy tag to my ear pliers and a double set of rubber bands to the banderator, I was ready!  I was making some short work of this task, almost like I knew what I was doing.  It was a short lived feeling.  I caught the boy calf (the bigger of the two) and set him on his butt, while reaching for the ear tag I ended up draped over his body while he ran around the pen.  I only went about eight feet before I slipped off.  I caught him one more time and could not hold him down while attempting to use any set of pliers to do anything!  I simply do not weigh enough to just pin him down to the ground.  I stepped back and decided that I needed a third hand.  So I went into the barn and got an old 1 inch lead cloth strap for a horse and proceeded to catch the calf again and again.  On the third try I got him down and got the lead knotted around all THREE feet and kept him on his side.  I was able to tag his ear and after playing pop the weasel, got both testicles inside the rubber band before letting the tension go.  Start to finish it only took me 15 minutes to get both calves completed.  I will not be setting any records but I did get it done!  I sorted off the two oldest calves and their mothers and placed them in the upper prime field with our two steers.  We don't want the bull to get at the female calves and they are already 4 months old. 

Hogtie necessity

I spent the rest of the day working on the irrigation pipe.  I got new valves and sprinklers installed.  I put in some new gaskets.  I have a mud plug in the last five sticks on the run.  I am trying to blow it out but the last four stem pipes don't have valves and are blowing water everywhere.  I have two really leaky joints that need new gaskets and there is a leak in the flexible hose coming off the irrigation pump.  The hose is cracked near the end so it looks like I can cut off a foot and reapply the connector and be good to go.
Job done