I’ve learned a thing or two about hungry cattle in the past six years. When you come out into the pasture with a bag of cattle cubes during a drought, even the most complacent cows become like the bulls you see on television during the Running of the Bulls in Spain!
This morning, I felt like an underground cattle cube and hay smuggler!! I went into the breezeway of the barn and stealthily loaded the golf cart with two bales of hay and a sack of cubes. I had the cubes open and ready to go. I took the chain off the barn gate without a sound, silently swung it open, and pushed the golf cart backwards out of the barn so the cows wouldn’t hear it. No, I’m not exaggerating! I’ve resorted to criminal-like activity to feed the cows.
After I got the golf cart out of the barn without any cows detecting my presence, I walked over to the gate leading into the back pasture and silently unchained that gate being careful not to let the chain hit the post on the way down. Then, I walked into the back pasture without anything in my hands so the cows could clearly see that I didn’t have any food on me…..it’s all about perceptions…..and turned the feed bunk right side up. Right away I saw that our spy cow, Sophia, noticed me turning the feed bunk right side up and I knew she was now watching me like a hawk to see any evidence of food being delivered.
On my way back through the gate, I swung it open completely, walked slowly to the golf cart, got on it and then sped like AJ Foyt through the gate, dumping cattle cubes on the ground to my right in a long line as I drove. Sophia-the-spy-cow jumped up and alerted the others so they all started running at breakneck speed around the pond to get to the cattle cubes. I was just lucky they didn’t jump in the pond and swim across it like they do at times! Before they arrived on my side of the pond, I jumped off the cart, cut the strings on the hay bales, and then spread it out in about a 50 mile radius to keep our food-aggressive donkeys and head cattle from trying to kill any competitor cows who needed hay.
Just as I was finishing, I spotted Bessie-the-enormously-pregnant-Hereford-cow trying to make her way from the front pasture into the back so I sped toward the gate as fast as I could before Bessie made it through, swung the gate closed, and congratulated myself on my sly smuggling operation.
This is farm life. For real. It isn’t for sissies and you have to be able to outsmart the animals. Even the super wily ones who keep you on your toes. The rest of my day should be pretty uneventful compared to this morning. Thank goodness.