Feb 2, 2008

Cow Worming

I can now add another skill to my growing list: Cow Worming. I've wormed horses before (you take a tube of de-wormer, set the appropriate dosage, stick the tube in the horse's mouth and press the plunger), but I offered to help Shan's Dad worm cows this afternoon (Saturday). In the interest of self-deprecating humor, allow me to be sure to give you as much detail as possible:

When I asked Shan's Dad if he needed help, I had no idea what we'd be doing. So, I was wearing black and blue "slick" shorts and my blue Best Buy shirt, and I had tennis shoes on. When he said we'd be worming cows, I only had the procedure for horses to go by. As we head into the pasture area he has his corral set up in, he is carrying a long U-shaped white plastic "stick" (for lack of a better description), a plastic bottle of de-wormer, and a small cup-like container. The ground is a mess from the wet weather we've been having, not to mention the cow manure all over the place, so I quickly suggest that I go put my boots on.

So, I'm in my shorts and t-shirt with my boots on. Shan's Dad directs me to stand at one end of the corral and slide boards in behind the cows when they enter, so they won't get out. He also tells me to fill the cup-like thing halfway with the de-wormer and to pour the stuff along the cows' backs when they are blocked in. This is great in theory.

When the cows enter the chute, they go bananas. As I try to pour the stuff on one of their backs (there are two cows in the chute), they jump over the far-end barrier and escape. Shan's Dad says he was not expecting the cows to do that, we go to plan B. The chute is actually an L-shaped one, so we can get one cow at a time into the last part of chute. Back up and punt.

The first cow in is so unhappy to be there that most of the de-wormer ends up on the side of the cow than on its back. I get the blockade out of the way, and the cow goes into the field. I put the boards back in place, ready for the next cow. She gets wrangled in there, and just as I pour the medicine, the cow jumps OVER the barrier. Talk about mad cow!

After a bit, Shan's Dad gets another cow to come in ans she is so calm about the whole thing, I actually get the de-wormer to go in a perfect line down her back. She even waits for me to move the boards so she can get out.

The whole time this is going on, the bull is walking around, trying to decide if he should watch or if he should send my happy butt flying. Luckily, he opts just to watch.

I think we did another cow, but I don't really remember. Well, at least I have another item to add to my resume'...

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