Wednesday, 12 December 2012

Four legs good, two legs bad.

You would think, in this icy weather, that it would be easier to walk on four legs than on two.   But that is not always the case.   This afternoon, A and R, whose cattle we over-winter inside, came to collect one or two cows/heifers who are near to calving.   Our farms are next door to one another so the journey home is a short one.

All went well until the last cow was being walked to the trailer, when she slipped and went down.   Cows are really quite ungainly creatures and she was totally unable to get up again.   Poor thing, she was so distressed.

They had to return to their farm to collect a hoist.   They fitted this across her back, loosening and then tightening bolts until it fitted correctly.   Then the farmer gently lifted her up using his tractor.

She is on all four feet again and seems no worse for her accident, but they are leaving her overnight to see how she is in the morning before subjecting her to a ride home in a wobbly trailer behind a tractor.

You would think that a leg at each corner would make for stability wouldn't you?   I am wobbling about on these icy roads wearing my Yaktraks.  Dindin, who lives in Alaska, swears by Yaktraks and I must say I feel safer on icy roads when I am wearing them.   But they are lethal in our Utility Room where there is a stone floor, so they have to be taken off the minute I come through the door.

Tomorrow is our friend's funeral and once again the farmer is a bearer.   In the past week another three people have died in and around the area, making six in about three weeks.   As you get older this sort of happening makes one so painfully aware of one's own mortality from a purely selfish point of view.

As I write, cold, freezing fog is creeping across the fields in strips and the sky is an icy blue as the low sun sinks.   It is bitterly cold.   Hopefully the weather is set to get slightly warmer by the weekend, preceded by a bank of heavy snow.  The heating is full on and I am just about to light the wood-burner, draw the curtains and settle down for the evening once the farmer returns from his last walk with the dogs, who don't seem to notice the cold at all - surely a case of four legs good, two legs bad as far as cold weather in concerned.


Gwil W said...

Hope you both have a pleasant evening after all that excitement - and the cow too!

John Going Gently said...

chin up for tomorrow pat

Bovey Belle said...

Mind you, if I was a cow I'd put in for hoof-replacements as I should think they are pretty lethal when it comes to trying to get a grip on anything remotely slippy . . . I bet she was all shook up, bless her. How wise not to try and travel her that day too - Next Door here wouldn't have given it a 2nd thought, he'd have just heaved her into the trailer anyway . . .

angryparsnip said...

awwwwwwwww, poor little cow hope she is better today.
It is blue skies today temps are 73/43
but there will be a storm coming Friday and our high will only be 59 with some rain in the valley and some snow in the mountains. All cleared up by Friday.
Have a lovely warm evening after all the excitement.

cheers, parsnip

Heather said...

I am so pleased that the cow suffered no injury - icy conditions are so treacherous.
When my grandmother was about our age and several of her friends and acquaintances died in quick succession, I remember her saying 'It makes you wonder who will be next'. I was very young then and the significance of her words was lost on me, but now I know just how she felt.
Stock up with enough provisions for Christmas and a seige and keep warm!

Elizabeth said...

So glad the cow was set to rights!
Yes, walking on icy surfaces is most treacherous.
You do write beautifully about everyday life--sitting in the warmth etc...

it's me said...

the sun will soon start its journey northward--we can understand why our ancestors were so eager for its return

cows, horses and cement don't mix well

Tom Stephenson said...

Oh, Poor thing. I hate seeing old ladies fall over.

Titus said...

Thank you for capturing all the action Weaver, and I do hope the cow in question recovers fully.
Do you think perhaps there's an element of the 'new breeds' in it? All the Holsteins look just like huge rectangles with four little legs at each edge, and rather unstable at the best of times. Around here we obviously have the Holsteins, but also Galloways and Highland cattle, and they seem so much more naturally conformed. Something about dairy herds maybe.

And my condolences on the loss of so many friends. I hope you have a dry, clear day tomorrow.

Cloudia said...

not afraid to speak plainly, eh?
"As you get older this sort of happening makes one so painfully aware of one's own mortality from a purely selfish point of view."

Do step carefully on your two dear legs, friend.

Aloha from Waikiki
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CHummelKornell said...

What a heartwarming story. The farmers show such compassion for their animals. Thank you for sharing. Snuggle in and stay warm. If I don't get back, please have a wonderful Christmas.

Pondside said...

I hope that the end of the week brings a break in the cold weather and melting of some of the treacherous ice. Two legs are sometimes better than four, but I think all creatures are best off inside in that weather!

MorningAJ said...

Cows might have a leg at each corner, but they're a bit spindly - and their feet are tiny! I don't think I'd like to have to balance on their feet.

The Weaver of Grass said...

The cow went down again the next day amd the whole procedure had to be repeated. She is being left here for the time being and seems quite steady on her legs at present. Perhaps now that the weather is turning (relatively) warmer she will get more purchase on the concrete feeding area. Thanks for visiting.

Crafty Green Poet said...

I think having a low centre of gravity may be the most helpful thing in being able to balance better in icy conditions, so animals like rabbits and squirrels will likely do better than cows.

MarmaladeRose said...

I love these little snippets of farmyard life. Something us townies would miss if not for you ;)