September 5, 2017 at 3:32 p.m.
Welcome back Zack
I am not referring to the bunnies that walk around on two legs either. Zack went to a bunny convention that involved cute, little, fuzzy warm creatures that use four legs for motivation.
Previous to us hiring Zack to work on our farm full-time as our herdsman, he spent a lot of time working with rabbits and showing them at the local, state and national level.
It's just that he doesn't realize that when he's gone, an ominous pall covers our farm.
Last week Friday was Zack's first day of missing-in-action. He left us Thursday morning after finishing chores. And boy did he miss the action.
Before Zack was even gone from the farm for 12 hours, Joey and I had a milking glitch. Sure the milk pounds were way up, but it doesn't count when you forget to remove a pipe from the wash line and all the wash water goes into the bulk tank.
It really messes with the numbers and ruins the milk.
The following morning, before the clock chimed 5 a.m., it was absolute chaos.
A cow that had her calf during the night had forgotten an electric fence's main purpose is to keep critters inside a fenced area, not on the outside. Maybe she assumed she was on the outside of the fence and wanted to get inside. That is not belittling a cow's intelligence. They are not smart animals.
This cow was the first cow to crash through the electric fence, and almost every other cow thought it looked like a good bit of fun to be running around in the dark. It was like they were playing Kick the Can, except none of them could find a can. Not that they even know what a can is.
Uninhibited cows don't really bother me. I find their willingness to challenge the rules a bit refreshing but man-oh-man does it irritate Steve.
That morning we chose to get the children out of bed to help us wrestle the cows into the proper area. I was in charge of keeping a portion of the cow herd in one area and Steve was in the far-away pasture trying to bring other cows back.
Ooooh, he was a hollerin' and a cussin.'
Not that I minded, but it sure made my group of cows curious as to what in the heck is going on around the corner of the heifer barn. I had tough time trying to keep them from investigating all the commotion.
I think cows are fascinated by naughty words.
We were supposed to be done a bit early to accommodate the milk tester's schedule - he had an early college class - but that was all shot to smithereens with the Magnum Holsteins.
I don't remember how or why, but during milking we officially declared Oct. 26 as Sergé Sobelov Day. Maybe it was because he resigned himself to missing his class and never once scorned us for causing his absence.
Other days during Zack's holiday found us struggling to keep things looking like normal around here. (Being that some people consider me crazy, it can be quite difficult.)
Pogo, the Jersey calf who seems to think she had free run of the farm, was leaving her footprint everywhere. She's sweet as a dickens but faster than 125 cows running for greener pastures at five in the morning trying to see who's letting the naughty words fly.
I don't mind her being outside but dang she resembles a whitetail deer. Of course, she doesn't have a short, white tail, but who knows if a hunter would see her from the front.
I tired of chasing her back and forth across the yard - I was beginning to feel like a duck in a shooting game - so I finally just let her run.
Eventually, she must have exhausted herself, because later that day she was back lying in her pen like she was never out terrorizing all the other cows around here. It's kind of like asking who used your lipstick and your youngest son says, "Not me," even as his lips are so rosy red it's evident he has been using lipstick as Chapstick.
Zack finally came back yesterday.
Things should return to normal quickly.
For questions, or comments, email me at [email protected].
Kerry and her husband, Steve, along with their teenage sons, Joey and Russell, operate a 100-cow dairy farm south of New Ulm, Minn. In her spare time, she likes to read, read and read some more. They have three dogs, one gecko, one guinea pig and one house cat that is insane. The 11 barn cats are normal - except for Mitch. There's something wrong with that cat.[[In-content Ad]]
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