Sunday, December 27, 2009

Stuck Chuck

It was bound to happen. Old Blind Guy, Chuck, decided that he'd wander off into the snow in the MIDDLE of a storm. I went out yesterday morning, and found him walking around in circles about 25 feet behind his shed.

Adrift

It was really odd, too. There were NO TRACKS pointing the way to where he was. Maybe aliens had something to do with it.......

I have no way of knowing, but I'd guess that he'd spent most of the night out there, adrift in the drift. All I DO know is, he looked more like Frosty The Snowman, then a Black Angus cow.....

Salt And Pepper Angus

He was doing his "walking around in circles" bit, and calling to the two girls, who - naturally - totally ignored him. Breakfast (his AND mine) had to be pushed back so I could attempt to get him back to the shed. It was only 25 feet, or so, but not an easy task. Being blind, Chuck couldn't see where I wanted him to go. He for SURE knew he didn't want to head back into the drift.

Pushing a 500 pound blind calf usually doesn't do much good, either....

I "broke" a trail to him (and back again), but it was filling in right behind me as I crawled through the snow. It was not a fun situation for man, NOR beast. The wind was blowing pretty good, so digging was out of the question. I tried for about an hour, but the only thing I accomplished was to make Chuck move FURTHER away. I decided that I was doing no good, and hoped Chuck would find his way home on his own.

Help would have to wait for the wind to stop blowing.

Unfortunately, that meant that Chuck was on his own another night in the snow. At least he had a pretty good "windbreak" in his trampled down spot.

Finally, the wind died down during the night - this morning, Chuck was the first priority before anything else.

The snow drift I had to dig through was about 4' deep and 35' long. Digging turned out to be easier then I thought (still not fun, just easier then I had thought....). A lot of the snow came in big "blocks". I was sure thankful that it was a powdery snow instead of a heavy snow. It took a good long time, but I finally excavated a trail wide enough for Chuck to make his way down.

Trail

He knew it was "different" but still wasn't convinced it was "safe". A bucket of feed changed his mind, however. I'm sure he was glad to get back to the shed and the warmth of the other two cows.

He wasn't bashful about chowing down on breakfast either. He and Belle are fed from the same pan (which is getting too small...), but he figured he deserved most of the food.

Unfortunately - I don't think he'll have any "grand children" to tell his tale of survival to - the plan is to have him in a different kind of freezer long before then.....

Here is a photo of him and Belle eating breakfast this morning. Belle is 38" at the hips, and Chuck is about 8" taller. He's not as fat as Belle, but he's longer by a good shot.

Besides, anything Belle eats goes STRAIGHT to her hips (ok - belly...)

Home, Sweet Home

HOPEFULLY we won't get many more snows like the last two this year. It makes it hard to get things done when they're buried in 5' of snow.

I'm a FIRM believer - if God wanted us to tromp around in snow up to our thighs, he'd made sure we were born with 4 wheel drive as an option.

Mabel, on the other hand, surprises me. I figured I'd have trouble getting her out of her house and into the barn to be milked. I saw her come through a drift about halfway up her side yesterday. She just reached down, hit "four hoof drive" and churned right through it.

Amazing what the call of food does to a cow.....

The call of food also works on cats....

We've been having a new black cat around for the past few days. I noticed it one morning and thought my eyes were doing funny things. I saw TWO black cats at the feed pan, instead of one. I took a step toward it, and it high-tailed it outta there. Every day since, I've been "working" it closer and closer. It let me "touch" it a couple of times - and even pet it for a few seconds while it was feeding it's face. Once it looked up and SAW me touching it, it was GONE.

Like I said, every day it lets me a LITTLE closer. This morning was better. I put food out, and it jumped on the table and ran to get it before the others inhaled all of it. I stood there, about 2' away, and watched for a couple minutes to make sure it knew I wasn't going to harm it. After a bit, I took off a glove and started stroking it's back.It stopped eating, looked up at me, THEN STARTED EATING AGAIN. It let me rub it's back for several minutes - and would have let me keep it up, but I had to get things done.

Taming Of The Cat

I haven't been able to tell if this is a male or female (I am leaning toward female...), and it is still a ways off from being tame but, if I can tame a wild fireball that hates me (Tractor Buddy), this one SHOULD be easy.

Anyhoo, from saving of cows, and taming of cats, it's been an eventful morning so far....

Makes me wonder what the goats have planned for this afternoon....

3 comments:

  1. I have an old, blind, white dog who is having a tough time in the snow. She takes herself for a walk, wanders off the trail I've carved and then is up to her neck in snow, lost about what to do next. It makes me anxious each time I let her out the door.

    There are many things I appreciate about winter, but not all the extra effort and time spend dealing with it to keep myself and critters safe.

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  2. We are thrilled to have found your blog and e-books and have posted about them here http://is.gd/5DLIM on All Things Goat.com. We would love to write about you in the future so please keep us informed of handy things goat people should know.

    The best to you and Deb.

    Martha Ann

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  3. Wow! What a wonderful story! Thanks!

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