|really cool tractor|
i had a first the other day. i got to drive a really cool tractor while pug fed the cows just in case he got stuck. the first night he did not get stuck but the second night we did have another truck get stuck. it was really cool watching the tractor pull the truck out. never been a mud bog fan but this was fun to watch. we were shutting gates to keep the cows in a certain pasture and when we were done we had a cow and two big calves show up. unfortunately they were not on the right side of the fence. so we proceeded to push them toward an open gate so they would be with the other cows. pug was in the large feed truck and Adam was in his truck and i was in the cool tractor. lucky for me i could go anywhere because this tractor "just don't get stuck". so i could go out in the middle where it was soggy and muddy and wet. i am not much of an adventurer so i did not push the tractor to see what she could do. i call her a she because this tractor is so cool, useful, and sleek it has to be female. we are "borrowing" this tractor so i am really careful but i stay with the cow and calves weaving back and forth. it is really fun. no different than a horse or truck except for the whole "don't get stuck thing". i stayed with the trio until they walked through the gate. just before that pug came on the walkie talkie and told me to keep doing what i was doing and that i was doing a good job. music to my ears. praise doesn't come easy or often on the farm. so when it does, it is greatly appreciated. good thing this tractor is so roomy or my head might not fit.
when we sell calves van helps us for a while gathering the calves but as we get a pen full he stays back at the main cowpen and helps sort the calves with the broker guy. that means at some pens i get to work the sorting gate. some are better than others. i actually fell off one over 18 years ago. i was fairly early in my pregnancy with kelsey and i was working a wobbly sorting gate. i sit on a board that runs across the lane the cows go through. they actually go under me. anyway the cows came through really fast and hit the sides of the lane. it jarred me so hard i fell off backward and somehow landed somewhat on my feet. it was cold and i had on a really big coat so i was not hurt at all. only a little shaken up because of my precious cargo. needless to say my sweet father-in-law was there and quickly told pug that my cowgirl days were over until our baby was here. of course i listened to him. i am happy to say that the sorting gates are much sturdier now and whether it is van or myself up there we are safe. i got to be the sorter today. for the most part it is easy. the guys let me know what is going where. there are times we sort three ways but today was only two. mommas & small babies one way and big babies, a bull & 2 misplaced heifers the other way. seems pretty simple except for the fact that they all come at once and sometimes it gets a little confusing if i have two people telling me how to sort them. they put a few in a smaller pen with a gate and then try to let one or two at a time come to my gate. since i sit up high my gate is easier to move with my foot. there is a long piece of wood that i can make the gate move with my hand but i have to be able to get my foot on it too. it is a heavy gate. and i am just a girl :) ha ha this is where you laugh hysterically!!! we got along really good. there were a few near misses where two came at once that needed to go two different ways in the narrow chute. i did it right most every time. i was proud. i love it when i can make a "save". it is a pain to have to re-sort and we try to avoid that at all times. mickey always gives me a "way to go mrs. kellee" kind of our own high five from a distance. even adam gives me a little praise now and then. when he did today i looked at my sweet honey and said "i need a raise"! my sweet honey smiled that big old smile and said "i will go right now and get you a cushion"! i really hope he doesn't quit his day job because we don't need anymore unfunny comedians. it was a good day and we got it done. there were two calves that got by that should not have but that couldn't be helped. we separated them out of the weaned babies and sent them back to their mommas. that is really my kind of "save".
|this is our sorting gate. i sit on the board that goes|
across the top.
|my right leg and foot do most of the work|
|mommas coming down the lane... under me|
|this is the view from the sorting gate at the lodge|
the pens were soggy!
|she's giving me the old stink eye|