Friday, March 16, 2007

The house, the cow and the tank

Good morning. We have some rain this morning so I thought I’d update you on the house and tell you about the cow. About the house – the first row of blocks are in place and sand was delivered yesterday. The sand will be used to get the grade under the foundation right for the pour, which may be next week. We don’t know because we are being blessed with construction slow downs because of the rain.

The rain has not been enough to fill our tank, which is not good and is a player in the rest of this post. Monday afternoon I came home to get the milk cow from the pasture and pen her up for the night so we could milk her in the morning. I walked out to the tank and there she was, stuck in the mud. Now, as a city boy I had no idea about this little problem and what it could mean. Seems if a cow gets stuck in the mud it will struggle to get out and since it is stuck and can’t get out it will give-up after it has exhausted itself. This is the state in which I found the cow, tired and full of give-up. The vet also explained that in the straining the cow could also suffer ligament damage.

So, through the miracle of the mobile phone I called the house from the tank and the boys – Stephen and Mitchell – ran out to help. We tried pulling and pushing and this did not work. I sent Stephen back to get the truck. We had 100’ of rope I had bought to use on the chicken tractors so we tied one end to the trailer hitch and the other to the cow’s harness. Stephen drove the truck and Mitchell and I tried to assist the cow as she was pulled out. This did not work, but her neck did get a good stretching. When we stopped this attempt she looked even worse. I had a tow strap in the truck and in our second attempt we looped the tow strap around her front legs, which we could get out of the mud and tied the free end of the strap to the rope tied to the bumper. Again Stephen drove and this time I manned the halter to keep her head out of the water. The angle we had to work with was awful. She had gotten stuck in the worst part of the tank for this maneuver. This time the truck was able to get her unstuck and we dragged her up the hill and away from the tank.

With the cow out of the tank we fed her and she ate with no problem. I took this as a good sign. Then she started chewing her cud. I thought this was also good. Still, she would not even try to stand up. We tried rolling her up and tempting her with more food, but she just laid there. The vet arrived and administered some anti-inflammatories and other stuff and said her heart rate and respirations were good and that eating and chewing her cud was a good thing. At about 8:30 we finally went in and left the cow out by the tank. I got up at six the next morning and went to see how she was doing. She was gone. She had gotten up in the night and wandered off. An excellent sign.

Tuesday afternoon I went out to get her to bring her in for a Wednesday morning milking. Stephen went with me. There she was, stuck in the tank, worse than the day before. Stephen ran back to the house and got the truck, my rubber boots and Mitchell. I got into the tank and put the strap under her with one loop in front and one in back. We tied the rope to the mid section of the looped strap and the other end of the rope to the truck’s bumper and puller her out sideways. Again, she ate and chewed her cud and this time she stood up on her own. We walked her back to the stanchion in anticipation of milking her Wednesday morning. Wednesday morning we got all of three quarts from her. Thursday morning we got a half gallon. This morning we were back up and got over a gallon and a half from her.

The top picture is the lovely Bella on Tuesday afternoon. The next is also the cow. The last picture is of my sock when I finally poured out my boots.



Beth said...

Oh man!! I am glad that you got her out of the tank. I hope she stays out now! Sounds like our life a few years back only in Northern MN, not as warm. We had cows for a while now we have rabbits and hope to get chickens again.
Thanks for sharing.

Audrey said...

Your boys will have such fond memories of childhood!

Karen of TX said...

I've been afraid to email to find out what happened, and just now read the blog since we've been out of town. I'm glad she's OK!