Thursday, January 9, 2014

The Near Disaster

WE were both up by 2:30 AM which is just insane.  What can I say.....

The weather is moderating which is wonderful.

The following happened when the girls were visiting.  I thought it deserved its own post.  There is a moral to this story which will follow.

The two boys were here working one morning.  We were in the garden where  I was showing them what I wanted removed.  We heard a loud banging noise and a cow/calf bellowing.  The farm boy one  (our neighbor), not our GD's boyfriend.  Yelled a calf is stuck in the feeder (round-bale type).  We ran toward the lot and the largest calf out there had gotten herself inside the bale ring and was stuck at her hips and she was dragging the thing around the lot.   All three of us ran full speed to see what we could do.  This has happened before and DH just lifts the ring off the calf.  This time when he went to lift the feeder,  she panicked and tried to jump out of it.  If she had chosen  the spot she got through she could have got out but cows aren't the smarted critters, especially when scared.

The boys grabbed the feeder and got her stopped.  By this time, I was inside the lot also and we three tipped it up on its side with the heifer laying quietly (by now) on the ground. The neighbor was the one telling us what to do.  He had the BF sit on the heifer's head and me hold  the opposite side of the feeder down.GD came inside the lot then.  The farm boy neighbor wanted a sawzall to cut the slant bar away.  I dashed to the shop, got mine....dragged 200 feet of extension  cord out.  There was a stabilizing pin gone....didn't even know that.  I  guess it was so tiny that it dropped out and was lost last time I used the saw (maybe two years ago).  So, the saw was inoperable.  FB jumped in his truck; dashed home and came back with a portable welding unit.  Now BF is sitting on cows head, I am holding the side of the feeder to keep it from  flipping over on him.  Someone told GD to go on the opposite side to help me hold it stable.  I f I hadn't been so charged with adrenaline, I would have noticed her and shooed her out of the lot completely!  DH by now has the tractor parked right next to the bale ring, cow and us.  FB got  the bar removed very quickly and surprisingly, the cow just laid there.  He did catch her on fire once but snuffed it out quickly; she didn't even jerk.  I guess it didn't get near her skin.  They have a very heavy coat in winter.

Now we all (not GD) knew when she was free she would go berserk.  So I told the one sitting on her head to get up and away from her quickly.  The neighbor boy already knew this so he removed the welding unit and got away.  I was on her opposite side standing next to the tractor.  I moved back quickly but not quickly enough.  She jumped up and out and instead of running forward whirled around and came right at me.  She was maybe 5  feet from me  when she started but I couldn't move fast enough in rubber boots and rough ground.  My chronic dizziness doesn't help in these situations either.  She hit me mid body and rammed me into the tractor.  Thank God I was standing next to the tire and didn't even suffer a bruise.  She veered away from me and took off into the lot.  She had knocked the metal feeder over on GD so she was completely out of sight.  The boys screamed and got it off her.  She was totally uninjured but covered in dirt. 
I was weak with relief because the bottom of the metal feeder has about an l8 inch skirt of metal which was jagged and  rusted through on the part  that sits on the ground.  If it had raked her face...........I can't bear to think of it even now.

I was weak and trembly all day.....I used some medicinal spirits bought  only for cooking a couple of times during the afternoon!

The moral of this story is:

Never have novices anywhere near large animals on the farm!  No exceptions.
Always carry a bucket of water where welding is happening
Never use these blasted feeders again.

I learned a lesson with this:  I am just past doing serious farm work.  I can't move fast enough because of the dizzy factor.  DH is also beyond something like this. 
I don't know what we would have done if the boys hadn't been here.  Our neighbors are not cattle people.
We would have found some way surely, but without the sawzall, we  could have lost the cow.  I have to try to get  a replacement pin for it.

This is one of those things that happen on farms or ranches.  It isn't a matter of  "if"  but when. 


  1. Glenda, I do not even know where to begin other than that you and DH are blessed to be "ok" and that you are also right about those lessons learned!! What a scary, dangerous situation and yes, get rid of those feeders around smaller livestock!!...:)JP

  2. I'm so glad that everyone came out of this relatively unscathed. Farm hazards abound, be it animal or mechanical, and one needs to be very aware of this fact. Thank you for sharing this.

  3. Oh my heart, Glenda! It's hard enough doing cattle farming, I'm sure, and that's when everything is going smooth. And you just can't have everything you need to deal with a serious situation. It's so lucky that you had someones there to help and that no one was really injured. And I hear you about "... past serious farm work" - getting older is a b!tch. Glad you all are safe and sound.

  4. Dear, dear Glenda ~ I'm glad all turned out well so that you could share the moral to the story. Getting older is no picnic. I'm glad you had help with this.

    Love and hgs ~ FlowerLady

  5. i'm so glad you and the others are ok! That could have been a disaster, you are right. Farming is so dangerous, and most don't realize it.

  6. Glenda,

    Oh Dear, I'm happy hear after this incident everyone came out okay.....maybe a little shaken. I hate this getting older thing, can we turn the clock back 10 years??

  7. Omg, I'm happy that everyone is okay! You could have been seriously hurt by that scared cow and your GD was very lucky, too. I have the dizzy problems, too, so I know what you mean about sudden moves. And besides that, I'm getting too old to move fast! Getting older isn't any fun at all. Stay safe and enjoy the warmer weather coming our way.

  8. That was a scarey story and I'm so glad everyone came out of it ok. Like you, when I think how badly that could've turned out it makes me shudder.

    When we moved out here I had visions of getting a farm animal. One of our neighbors has goats and another keeps ponies. But Hubs said no on everything but the chickens, and eventually we found even the chickens a little more additional work than we could handle, especially thinking ahead to winter. During this last cold blast, I was really glad we had given those chickens to Kylie. Even the domestic animals are a responsibility. I'm still putting drops in the cat's eye and I think I'm going to have to change vets because these folks don't seem to know what else to do about it. The drops only help while they're being put in, when I stop, the problem comes back. And our 14-year-old dog, Sonny, is going to have to be put down on Monday. REALLY dreading that.