Tough to get back on track

I’ve been working hard to get myself back on schedule now that the holidays are over.
I’m behind with a bunch of bookwork for the cattlemen and 4-H so I’ve been trying to put in a few hours each day on this type of stuff and then the rest of the time working in the barn/yard trying to get things prepared for calving.
I have (with the help of my boyfriend/partner and almost stepson) remodelled a bit in the barn, allowing myself another calving pen. I shouldn’t need it but if the weather takes a turn for the worse, it is sure nice to have some extra room–or even an extra animal in to keep the barn warm.
Up until this week, the only thing I had in the barn was my old cat (who once was a cat that never left the house until she came down with a nasty bladder infection and wouldn’t take her medicine—and then became the barn cat).
Meanwhile, the cow that looks like her wisdom tooth was pulled out gave me a look that made me think I should bring her in and check her out further.
I’m lucky that my cousin is a vet so a quick text message usually gives me a few answers or suggestions.
“Canada” is the cow’s name and, of course, is one of my “nicer” ones (I don’t like to have a favourite because they always seem to die!) Canada is very quiet so once I saw her come up to the yard for water, I just opened the gate and let her into the barn.
Upon checking her out, I decided to try poke the swollen area with a large needle and give her some penicillin cause it really wouldn’t hurt her.
Since she was an excellent patient, I decided to let her stay in for a bit.
Normally, cows have herd instinct, which means they really don’t like to be alone.
Well, Canada is loving her R&R too much too worry about the rest of the herd.
On Saturday morning, I actually let her out of the barn as I was heading up to the trapline for the night. But Canada didn’t want to leave (I ended up giving her some hay at the barn and I figured she would leave once the other cows came up for water).
I only was home for 10 minutes on Sunday morning and who came to see me–yes, Canada. I opened the gate and she stood and waited while I walked around and got the barn opened up for her.
It worked out well since my vet cousin was home for the weekend, so she came over and checked her out. Turns out there is not much we can do, but Canada thinks being in the barn makes things a lot better!
• • •
I had a steer calf (nearly a yearling now) that seemed to have a bunch of poop building up on his tail. I decided it looked like it was getting heavy and harder for him to lift, so it would only continue to build up.
I chased him into the squeeze and decided I would get rid of the mess before he lost his tail. I carefully chopped off the mess, then had to figure out the easiest way to get him out of the squeeze since things were stiff and half-froze up on the handling facility (another joy of winter–gates that swing are either froze down or there is too much snow to allow them to swing).
I decided to back him out and let him out the side door. I guess he felt so good that his tail was so much lighter that he lifted it up and kind of out the side of the squeeze. And as he was backing out, he tore the end of his tail!
Here I was trying to avoid that, but in the end he did it anyway.
Fortunately, it was only a small bit so hopefully this summer he will grow a bit of a switch.
Many animals lose the end of the tails (mainly from getting stepped on) and the switch never grows back. This makes for a long summer when the flies are nasty!
• • •
I think I’ve finally “de-Christmased” my place. I always leave everything up for Ukrainian Christmas, but now the only thing left is my winter decorations (mainly snowmen).
Alas, the yard will seem dark now without the glow of the lights.
Guess it’s now time to dig out the flashlights as it won’t be long until the night checks begin!

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