Tuesday, December 16, 2008

bad day at the farm - part 2.

When I started this blog, I thought about whether I'd write about days that didn't go as planned. The day you wish you could just write off, or forget about. Today is one of those days.

My decision then was to write about the experiences because that's what I'd like to read. Farming isn't a disney picture; you take what you are given and do the best you can with it.

Today when I drove up, I noticed a cow down on the field. There's a patch of ice that formed, and in the recent cold weather (daytime highs of 20 degrees F, lows of 9 degrees F). Cows down are sometimes ok, but this cow was the middle of the patch of ice. It's not a very big patch of ice, but big enough, apparently.

The cow weighs between 300 and 400lbs, and is one of the largest of my $5 calves. I don't know how long it was laying on the ice, or what state its legs are in. I was able to move it to the side of the ice pretty easiily, pulling it over the smooth surface, but I couldn't get the animal to stand.

And I tried for an hour or so, pulling, lifting, tugging. This sucks a lot.

I finally brought the tractor over and rigged a sling with a load strap and the chain hook on the bucket.

Having lifted it it didnt' want to stand; the front legs look ok, but the rear legs aren't functioning. They may have been sprained, or maybe just frozen. Not sure.

I finally rigged a full-body sling for the steer out of a couple of supersacks, and suspended this little guy from the ground. he's about 18" above the ground and being held upright. He's eating and drinking, and has food and water in reach, but I fully expect to find him dead tommorow. really makes me want to spring out of bed, ya know?

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