Friday, September 07, 2012

All's Well That Ends Well

Just before dawn breaks, as I'm heading out to feed the cats and kittens, I shouldn't hear the roar of the big tractor. But that's exactly what I hear this morning.  It's bound to mean problems, so I feed the cats and hurry to the back of the hay barn where I can get a view of the free stalls and, hopefully, see what's going on.

Sure enough, there's Weldon on the tractor and Pat standing near a cow lying in a free stall furthest from me. It's obvious that the cow has just had a calf and, as I work my way over to Pat, I see the new baby standing among some of the other cows. But Mama Cow is "hung up" between the upper and lower rungs of the stall divider pipe and can't get free.

The nuts and bolts that hold the stall together have been unscrewed, and Weldon has a big chain wrapped around the stall pipe and attached to the lift forks of the tractor. Slowly he lifts the stall divider pipe up and away from the cow.

However, the cow can't stand. This is when I start to cry (silently, of course) and pray (silently, of course). And this is exactly why I'm not cut out to be a nurse. These kind of things just tear me apart.

So ... Weldon goes to get the hip clamps (for the cow, not for any one of us) and attaches the device to the cow's hips and then chains it to the lift forks of the tractor. (I've seen him do this before, so I'm not in total shock like the first time I saw it.) Slowly, ever so slowly, he lifts the back end of the cow until she is obligated to stand. But she's doesn't want to stand on those back legs! (cry, pray, cry, pray)

Finally (seems like forever, but it was probably just a minute or two) she gingerly puts weight on her back legs and Weldon can remove the hip clamps. (sob, thank you, sob, thank you)

We slowly conduct mom and baby through a gate so they can get out to a nice grassy field and recover from their traumatic morning.
All's well that ends well :-)

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