Monday, March 3, 2014

How's That Working Out?

Farm life is not idyllic.  Sometimes it gets downright ugly.  Having had no success with Plans A and B, I'd come up with C to get Inga milked.  It seemed so simple.  Instead of letting Esther, Tessie, and Inga, the three girls who sleep in the big room, out all together, I would bring one at a time into the milking room and not give Inga a chance to balk at coming to me.  Yeah, and how'd that work out?  While Esther was having breakfast, I went around to clean the back stalls.  Suddenly I heard pounding feet, a big crash, and Inga scream.  I yelled and the fight stopped.  Esther out, Tessie in and milked, and it was Inga's turn at last.  I could find no sign of injury and breathed a premature sigh of relief.  Because there's always the potential for the stray hoof or tipped bucket, I always use two to guarantee some milk will be saved.  With an empty bucket, I sat down to work with Inga (two days without milking so I knew it would be hard work).  It was horrifying to squirt fresh blood from one teat.  Evidently Tessie had bashed Inga's udder; no external cut, but damage to vessels inside.  Regardless, Inga had to be milked out; there was no choice.  Stoic, she ate her breakfast while continuing to pour blood throughout the entire process.  It tears me apart to think I put any animal in harm's way.  With the best of intentions, Plan C was a total, ugly failure.  Once Inga was back out with the rest of the herd, all differences were forgotten and the girls went placidly grazing through the pens.  At nightfall, I faced another dilemma, but one with an easy solution.  Sheila and Poppy in one stall, Cindy in another, Tessie and Esther in the big room, and Inga went willingly into Ruthie's old stall.

I hope today will be better.


Linda Cox said...


Kathryn said...

Oh my! Hopefully you can just bring Inga out first every morning and Plan D will be the winner.