Thursday, December 06, 2012


Yesterday we cleaned em, or at least the big one anyhow. I was dreading the job. The wind was whipping like a cut snake, dragging icy cold across the region, setting the mud like concrete, and generally spreading misery in its wake. Outdoors was not really someplace I felt any great desire to be. You aren't quite outdoors when cleaning pens but you might as well be.

My job is to keep the heifers in the pen, yet out of the way of the skid steer, which barely squeaks through the door and can just, by the skin of its bucket, turn around in there, while the boss scoops up and removes the poo.

It involves a lot of trusting the driver, hoping the heifers behave, and paying very close attention. Six seething not-quite yearlings. One cowboy skid steer driver...although he was very careful yesterday...and little old me, all dancing around the pen together...... choreographed manure handling at its less than finest.

It went well though. The heifers were cooperative....for heifers at least....and we were done in less than an hour. Now they have a nice clean playground and a couple of new friends, as we added two that had outgrown their stalls. Liz has one less water bucket to lug.

Next we brought sand into the barn. We keep sand in the front of the stalls for traction when the cows get up and down and so their knees have padding. Our barn is designed so there is exactly one way to get that sand where you want it and that is with a shovel.

So we shoveled. Then we put down wood shavings in the stalls and left the barn looking nice and bright and tidy.

The only downside was that I missed my old dog Mike. He wasn't a perfect pen dog, being a bit too quick and impetuous, but it was a lot more fun when he was in the mix. Not necessarily safer or more efficient, but very entertaining.

I am still debating the wisdom of a puppy when Nick passes. I am not sure how to function without a border collie at foot, but I am sixty and lame in most joints. Some days I wish I had an oil can like the tin man just to get me going. They are active and need direction and work......hmmm........


Cathy said...

Manure disposal made scary, funny and even poignant. And interesting.

From my tin man joints to yours . . warm wishes for that can of oil . . you've already got the heart thing going :)

Linda said...

We're in the same boat get a pup or not....we moved cows to the river this morning and the old pup is coming 13 in the spring and her body just doesn't want to cooperate with what she "thinks" it should do. Notshy is younger but useless.

Terry and Linda said...

Would a good shelter dog work? We have had two excellent cow dogs come through...both results of divorces.

I worry about the day Fuzzy can't help anymore...well he really can't now, but he doesn't know it and I'm not telling him. I enjoy his company way too much.


Jeffro said...

I love Border Collies, but never got one just for that reason - mine would be bored and ill behaved because I couldn't keep it busy.

threecollie said...

Cathy, oh, yeah, an oil can would be good lol....or an Aleve....

Linda, yep, Nick is 13 now and going on 14. Pretty spry but getting incontinent and lame. A pup is such a job.....and yet, I can't really imagine not having a BC. i love our Gil, but he sure isn't like one.

Linda, Sadly, I have looked into adopting a rescue dog several times. Thought an older dog, even maybe one with problems would work out great for me and not so bad for the dog either. Unfortunately the requirements are ridiculous. I could adopt a human baby more easily. Home visits, fenced acreage, etc. etc, etc. Plus they charge as much as for a half trained working dog of excellent parentage. It is no wonder they don't find many homes! Kinda ticks me off because we are real dog people and a dog would have a good home here. Oh, well...bTW, Fuzzy is pip! I love him from afar.

Jeffro, boy oh boy, if you don't give them work they will give it to you! We always had work for ours. Sometimes they were a hindrance and sometimes they were an amazing help, but they were always fun!

Breezey375 said...

Seriously Gilly needs a friend we should get a puppy when Nicky goes... And you should name him Finbar.... :P