I’m tempted to say that not much has happened since the last blog entry, but that is not necessarily true. We penned some more cows and took another to the sale, but the associated drama so paled in relation to our previous adventures that it has hardly seemed worth mentioning. Therefore, I will be brief and cover some other information.
We did manage to toll some in. Our plan was to try to get the orphan calf to start nursing from cow 65 who has been nursing cow 74 for two years now. When we weaned back in 2011, we never could get 74 up and consequently she has been using her momma ever since. I figured that if we could get 65 and 77’s calf in the pens we could wean 74 and hopefully 65’s bag would start to ache a bit and she would let 77’s calf take a drink. We separated out all the cows but the ones we wanted, plus old 67 so we could sell her, and a few of the gentle 2011 crop. Since we only had confidence in the pens holding them, we kept them in there for a day or two, bringing them water in the truck and laying down some cubes. We also opened the front lot, which had not been grazed much. Chris and I tried to roll some left over hay onto the deck of the mower on the little Kubota, but she quit on us. I’ll go into that more in a minute.
The cow we wanted to sell, 67, had actually been in the trailer once before, but got out before we could shut the gate on her. This time, it was boring. We separated her in the front lot, got her into the crowding pen, ran her down the chute a ways, she turned around on her own, we changed the gate, and she walked right into the trailer and we shut the gate. No fuss at all. I was ready to go buy a lottery ticket right then.
After a couple of days, we decided to let them into the calf patch, and then the lane. That was Tuesday. By Wednesday, only the two cows that we left in there for gentling purposes were still there. I think 65 swam the tank and 77’s calf just pushed through a fence. Doesn’t matter. We have not seen 74 nursing off 65 since, so we may have done the job there and 77’s calf looks fine and is way gentler than her momma. We’ll see.
The tractor is another story. I grabbed a tank of diesel to put in there, but it turns out that it was fire starting fuel, which is to say that it had some crud and water in it. Once that got into the engine, the tractor wouldn’t start at all. I changed out the filter (which was full of junk), drained the fuel, put in some more, but there is still nothing. I’m going to call the mechanic today and get him out, but I think the pump is out.
I know I have been talking about the pens a lot, so here is a rough sketch of what they look like. Hopefully, this, along with the other map of the place, will help you get a better picture of what we are doing.
I have two weeks left of school, then we begin our summer work projects (which include trying to stay cool). Until then, I am not very ambitious; just trying to keep things together (like the tractor) so that we can get to real work once school’s out. Of course, the real work will be trusting God through the time of much depleted income. That’s the tough part for sure, but we are getting better at it due to lots of practice.