Tuesday, March 02, 2010

Fallen Cows and Milking Goats= A Busy Week

Dear me, I haven't put a post on for some time now, have I? But I do have a very legitimate excuse. The activities of last week didn't leave us with hours of time to spare, and that is putting it mildly;). The first thing on our plates, was babysitting a goat dairy farm for our friends, the DeSotas. That in it's self was not really an overwhelming task, for we had done it before and as there were only 9 goats to milk, was actually quite easy. That was to be started on Monday morning and on the Saturday before, God threw something else our way. It came in the shape of a fallen cow. We received a call from our friends the Hayse informing us that when they had gone out to check on their cow, Dixie, and baby steer, Job, they had found them both fallen down. They called a vet, but Job ended up dying. Dixie lived but was not able to get up, and was still laying out in the paddock. That is where we came in. Dixie had to be moved from the paddock into the barn, and they were in need of man power to accomplish it. So we headed over with the Brysons, and did it. I won't bore you with the gruesome details.;) On Monday, Dixie still hadn't gotten up. We all knew that if she lay down much longer there would be no hope, so we again went over and endeavored to lift her up with straps, attached to a come-along. That was a failure. We learned later from a cow farmer, that when you put straps under their legs like we did, it paralysis the limbs. The same farmer was kind enough to let the Hayse borrow a cow hip- hugger.
It looked like some sort of medieval torture instrument, but was really quite humane when you understand the anatomy of a cow. You see, Bovines have hip bones that protrude far off their backs, and when you tighten the round metal bars around them, it provides a very nice handle. The idea of the contraption is to lift the cow's back end, which is the way all cattle get up naturally, and this would hopefully stimulate the cow to get it's front feet underneath it and stand. Well, with much prayer and trepidation we tried it, and all praise be to God, it worked! Dixie was able to stand, for two, eleven minute periods, which thrilled us all. Yet the fact still remained that she could not rise on her own, therefore there was the necessity of going through this procedure each day until she got enough strength to stand on her own.

So, our day took on this form: we were rudely awakened at 6:30 by our insistent alarms, fall or crawl out of bed, and grope around in the dark for our "gross barn clothes", eat a very quick breakfast, scramble into our coats and hats and hopefully drive out of the garage at 7:00.

Upon arriving at the farm, we were greeted by the sweet puppy dog, Sirius, one of my favorite dogs.

Then we tromped into the milk room where Priscilla the cat, who has been at the farm forever, was waiting hopeful for some milk.

We quickly went through the familiar procedure of loading all the goats, trying to let only 8 into the milking room at one time, feeding them, and milking the few that still were producing. (I don't have any pictures of them being milked, as I was doing it.;)

Making sure the goats had hay and water was the last thing before....
we said goodbye to Sirius, and drove off, aiming at arriving home no later than 9:30. Unless we had a prior engagement that morning, we would head to the Hayse around 10:00 and begin the routine of shoving, pulling, and tugging Dixie onto a tarp, dragging her across the barn so she was in position under the trap door that the come-along hung from, winding the hip-hugger on her, and then raising her off the ground as fast as possible.

When she had been standing for 10 minutes, we would release her from the contraption and she would continue to eat her hay at a greedy pace. As the week progressed, Dixie grew stronger and the struggle to get her up became more and more difficult. Being a stubborn cow, she used her new found strength to push against all our efforts and struggled and pushed in the opposite direction we wanted her to go. On Saturday, Dixie struggled so much that we were not able to get her up and were almost in despair. We went again on Sunday afternoon, amid much prayer, to continue our endeavors. God was gracious and merciful, and though with much struggle we were able to get Dixie to her feet.

She stood for an hour and 30 min. before laying down like a normal cow. We were ecstatic!!! We still planned to go the next day unless God answered our heartfelt prayers, moved in wonderful and mysterious ways and gave Dixie the strength to rise to her feet on her own. Monday afternoon we got the call, that made us sing Hallelujah. The Hayse had gone down to the barn and had found Dixie standing!!!!!!! God is all powerful, and still does work miracles. So that is the story of our busy week. Now don't you agree I had more to do then write blog posts?