Sunday, September 11, 2011

The Escape Artist Cow

Over the last few months I've learned to expect the unexpected.  Farming has brought more of the unexpected than I ever thought possible.  I've gotten pretty good at rolling with the events of a day.  I've even begun to plan extra time for the crisis of the day.  Usually, I'm just waiting to see what the crisis will be.

This morning I thought I had things pretty well under control.  It was raining and I knew I'd need to give myself some extra time to check the food and safety of animals.  The cow was in the barn and I figured, with the rain coming down, he'd probably be happy to stay there.  I was wrong.

While I got dressed and gathered up the last supplies we needed for our first co-op meeting I sent the kids out to check food and water for all.  M7 came running back in almost immediately to let me know that the cow was in the garage.  If you've read other posts you know that the cow and I have a tentative relationship.  His enthusiasm for me is much greater than mine for him.  Also, when he gets out and wanders, he gets cocky.  He relishes the sense of freedom and isn't too eager to return to a stall or to be staked out in the pasture.  Chasing down the cow was not an event that I'd left enough time in my schedule manage and be on time to co-op.

Approaching the garage/barn, I could see the cow munching happily, his head buried in a bag of grower/finisher feed for the chickens.  He'd finished about 1/3 of the bag by the time I snapped the lead onto his harness and began to pull him out of the garage.  Though he was pleased to see me, he wasn't thrilled to give up his snack.  Thankfully, the promise of fresh grass appealed to him and he followed me out of the garage.  He jumped and frolicked his way across the front of the barn and into the pasture.  With not much more effort, he was staked down and ready for a day of munching.

We were a bit late for co-op.  My careful time management didn't include the capture of a cow.  Some things just can't be anticipated.  I'm still not sure how he got out of his stall.  That will be an investigation for a drier time.

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