Archive Article: 1999/04/23

23 April 1999

The cows are out now, which must be good news. It means the sun is shining, the endless rain has stopped, the days are getting longer and I will soon have less work in the calf house which is filling up now with weaned calves needing to be moved into the big shed. Then I will have more room for the last few calves still to come.

It also means I can tread freely through the shed if I have to – unafraid.

Last week Tim sent me out with a bucket of colostrum to feed a new born calf he did not think was drinking. Milking was almost over and I was making my way through the cows as they were settling back in the shed when wallop. I was head-butted from behind smack into a post, lost the colostrum but found my feet pretty quickly and was out over the feeding trough in a flash, luckily, really, as she was coming towards me again.

I hit the post side-on and limped back into the parlour. Tim (milking) took one look at me and muttered, exasperatedly, that he knew he should have done it himself. I, feeling hurt and sore, went in to make myself a cup of tea. It is true I am no hero when it comes to facing big animals. Last year we had a bull who did not like two-legged females, and I backed out of a similar mission when Tim sent me in to feed new born twins, despite having inch thick metal bars around me. I did not fancy my chances when the bull next door made a beeline in my direction and started pawing the floor and snorting. I am good at swift retreats.

Tim said it was my own fault the cow hit me, I was carrying a yellow bucket. I know cattle can see some form of colour, as I always feed the babies with yellow buckets and if I walk about with the green or the blue no one bothers but any time there is a yellow one in my hand everyone is interested. Tims theory is that the cow wanted the milk (I thought she must hate me). Whatever the reason Tim was a little more sympathetic three days later when the bruises came out down my arm and leg, and he has told me I am not to be so friendly with them when they are young. That is one lesson learnt.

A little side note concerning daughters. At lunch the last time we were all together Abi was telling us of the latest chat-up line she had had at Uni. "Is your father rich?" the boy asked.

"No," said Abi.

"Then who put those diamonds in your eyes?"

While we were groaning round the table Beth piped up quick as a flash: "And the gold in your teeth?"


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