Week 7: Caring for the CattleThis week my days followed the same pattern. I would get to the barn and feed the horses. Their happy snorts when I’d arrive and contented munching always makes me smile. While they eat I check for injuries and clean their hooves out. I make sure to speak to each of them by name and give them lots of love. Willie has been getting eaten up by the flies so I put a fly repellant lotion on the bad spots and spray him down with fly spray. Once everyone has eaten I let them out to pasture. Then I sweep the barn. Once the horses are done I swing by the ice machine and fill my cooler with ice for the day before heading out to the tractor and day of bush hogging. On Monday I finished the Mary Alice pasture. Then I reconfigured some gates at the horse barn to allow the horses access to the awning and the shade it provides. However, the horses seem to prefer to stand and bake in the pasture during the heat of the day. I guess that just goes to prove the old saying that you can lead a horse to water but you can’t make him drink. After that I moved to the Molasses. I would have finished it on Tuesday but I had a problem with one of my tractor tires. I noticed that the front tire wobbled when I turned. I thought that maybe I was turning too sharply so I watched it for a bit and tried turning different ways. The wobble got progressively worse so I stopped to inspect. Four of the eight lug nuts were missing! In addition, two of the ones that were left were almost completely unscrewed. I went to the shop to grab the necessary tools and lug nuts to fix the problem. Zack was there with the mechanic Carlos. I asked Zack were the best place to look for the lug nuts would be because I had no idea what the organizational method was in the shop. There weren’t any to be found so I went to town to get some more. On my way back Seth called to get me to turn around and pick up some bearings. When I got back Carlos kindly helped me straighten the tire and put the new lug nuts in. Thankfully the pressure from turning had not damaged the rim of the tire. With everything fixed I continued bush hogging for a few more hours that day. On Wednesday I finally finished the Molasses pasture. I also noticed that two Brahman calves had been born in the next pasture over. They were so cute! Thursday brought another pasture change. This time I went back to the Back of the Pines. Dallisgrass has grown up and gone to seed. Like Fescue, which has been the main reason for bush hogging, Dallisgrass can be toxic when the seeds are eaten in a large enough quantity. Cattle that have dallisgrass poisoning act like they are drunk, staggering around and delirious. This is where the term for dallisgrass poisoning “staggers” comes from. The toxin is also one hydroxyl group away from LSD, so there is a possibility that this is why it causes a hallucinogenic effect. I always forget how big the Back of the Pines is. I spent all day Thursday cutting it and most of Friday. To keep myself from getting bored driving in circles I cut parallel to the fence line. I like the smooth, straight lines it creates. It reminds me of a freshly vacuumed rug. Once I finished it on Friday I recut the old Brahman bull pasture because dallisgrass had grown up and there was a group of heifers in it. Late Friday afternoon I moved to the Anderson Corner pasture and started on it before the weekend.
June 20-24, 2016
June 20-24, 2016