Life on a family dairy farm
in the wilds of
Upstate New York
Monday, August 27, 2012
Didn't sleep much last night. A long day; the boy off to work out of state again, and fear, so much fear.
It might not show much but I am timid about mean animals. I deal, because it is my job, but the fear is always there. A couple of days ago Egypt, my gentle little Boo Boo cow from last year, had a big, black, half-shorthorn bull calf, a not unwelcome addition to the beef side of the program. However, during her dry period, which was longer this year than the accustomed 6 to 8 weeks, Boo Boo decided that she didn't want people to come in the stall with her. She took to jumping sideways at anyone who dared to walk up in beside her. There is no stall divider there......We figured she would get over it when she calved....they usually become quite amenable at that time...and turned her back outdoors after she ate her grain. Last year she stood next to an empty stall stall anyhow, so we didn't need to get that close to her. This year Dublin stands in the formerly empty stall so when Boo Boo jumps, there is a somewhat nervous, large, bony animal upon which to be crushed. Yesterday I tied her head to a pipe so she could only go just so far and then thin, supple, agile, fearless and almost four decades younger than I am, Alan milked Dublin. Once Dublin was turned out it was no biggie to milk Boo Boo. No anvil for the crushing surface. However, he's gone to Jersey.....so I am more or less on my own. I woke up at 3, afraid. Couldn't sleep. Visions of large, miserable, black rumps squashing me and big hooves stomping my feet. However, thankfully the good Lordsaw fit to give the less brawny among us the stuff between our ears. Around about 5 AM I had a thought. I will milk Carlene and Bama Breeze, who stand on the other side of Dublin and turn them outside. Carlene has a good stall divider. I will have the girls help me put Boo Boo up in HER stall so I can milk Dublin without getting the squeeze put on me. Problem solved. It was just about time to get up but I got just a little bit of real good sleep.Thank you sir.