Wednesday, April 16, 2014

How do you move a cranky cow?

Very Carefully!! I'm taking a break from the bee hives, because of the cold weather than moved in, the bees won't be here till next week. The crabbiest cow on the French Farm had her calf this morning and Bruce wanted to move the pair this afternoon. #45, formally #22 until she lost her tag, has not changed her ways since last year. She is ugly when she has a calf and it's not a fleeting thing. She carries a grudge against anyone who messes with her baby.

So this is how you move a crabby cow, it involves a tractor with a wire crate attached and a heavy gate to separate the cow from the calf. If you don't have one of these, rush out and buy one before attempting this. There was no way to document the first part of this maneuver, Bruce backed the crate up to the shed. I got the gate and  put it between me and cranky cow and waited for Bruce to back me up. He has no fear around the cows and can shout them down, at least for a few minutes while they recoup their game plan. With the gate running interference, I grabbed the calf and shoved her into the crate. Then climbed the cement wall that Bruce is standing on and got the heck out of there.

He laughed at me, until he saw the only other outlet for him was to go between cranky cow and the tractor, he wisely chose the cement wall.

Once he was safely on the tractor, he had it made, I was still on the ground, scurrying around opening and closing gates while keeping an eye out for the cow.

Up through the yard, all she can do is follow and plot her revenge on us.

Once in the lean-to yard, it's time to put a numbered earring on the baby and she was not happy......

....and fell down in a tantrum. While cranky cow was bawling, growling, pawing the ground and throwing snot all over outside the crate, inside the crate Bruce was trying to convince the calf to get up and join her mother.

This cow has my number, I know enough not to cross her path for at least 3 weeks and even then she gives me the stink eye.

Murphy never liked riding in the Gator in her basket and she rapidly outgrew it. Putzing around home, she found her position, on the floor with Mollie in the back.

Murphy still serenades me with shrill puppy barks while we are moving but it's a lot safer for her and me, talk about distracted driving. Going down the road while wrestling a puppy in a basket. I do have a leash I snap on her collar for safe riding but she is pretty content.

Mollie and Murphy love to go to the farm to help do chores, they both take off to go scavenging. Mollie to the corn crib to hunt for rats and Murphy to go check the cat bowl but I fooled her, I don't feed the cats till we are ready to leave. All of a sudden Murphy appeared carting the carcass of some hapless critter and she was extremely proud of it, she was prancing! Murphy went to the Gator first and tried to get in with it, she was taking that back home with her. Luckily it was just a little too much so she took it to the other side of Leo's shop, out of sight of Mollie and set to work chewing it. I will remember that tonight when she wants to chew on me. 

I wondered what would happen when Mollie discovered it, after all, she was not willing to share the raccoon pancake she found in the old shed. I soon found out, Mollie spotted Murphy and went to investigate, Murphy fixed her with a murderous glare and "Yipped!" as fiercely as she could with her high puppy voice. 

Mollie understood perfectly, backed away and jumped in the Gator. Back home they would settle this once and for all in a wrestling match in the barn with Bruiser as referee.


I went out to shut up the chickens, it's cold and rainy and time for Murphy to come in for the night. But first we go to the front pasture to go to the bathroom, Murphy, not me. When Bruce's sister, Shirley and husband, Rich, got their dog, Chloe, they housebroke her to go 'potty' and 'poopy'. That way if they went on a road trip, she would stop and drop a load on command. So I did that with Murphy and every night before she comes in, we make the trip out to the pasture and I tell her to "Go potty." Murphy will run and sniff and then go, tonight she squatted over an irritating dried weed that was sticking her in the most tender area so she kept lifting her leg while she was peeing. When that job was done I said to "Go poopy", and the hunt was on for the perfect place. Sometimes it takes longer than others to work up a load, one night she was humped up three times before she got the job done but tonight it only took once. 

Murphy got a new chew bone tonight, I remember what she was gnawing on at the farm and she didn't brush her teeth when she came in.


  1. Funny stories :) Is it warming up yet? I bet Mollie is pretty jealous that Murphie gets to sleep inside...

  2. Hi Ian and our CA family! We warm up and then it snows, warm up and then it snows, etc! Mollie doesn't seem to care that Murphy gets to sleep inside, I think she likes having the dog house to herself sometimes. There is plenty of room but it's much like going from a king size bed to a twin for her. It's so funny to come in the drive way and see the curtain part and a nose on each side appear to see who it is! Love hearing from you! Julie

  3. Aww I dreamt about Chloe last night, and now today I read that her legacy still lives on! Yes its the best thing ever to train them to go potty and poopy! Makes for no surprises! I loved the video of Mollie and Murphy wrestling with the occasional Bruiser tail in the thing you ever did was to get Murphy when you did! Mollie sure loves her, you can tell!

    Happy Easter Brother Brucie and wife Julie!!!

  4. You are right, Murphy was the best thing that happened to us! Mollie has her moments when she bares the teeth and Murphy knows to quit and lay low for awhile. I am bummed at times when I see how fast she is growing but she will be self sufficient when summer comes and the cabin calls. Murphy will pee in the yard but from the time she was tiny, she always went to the front pasture to poop. Mollie was never that way and I have to watch for Mollie Bombs as I work around the yard, I was hoping Murphy's good habits would rub off on her!

    Happy Easter to our families!