So now that that small tangent is out of the way, it’s now morning and time to move all the cows. Vanilla will not being going with everyone else. He is to stay here on the farm and convalesce.
All the trucks are set up and ready. David, my neighbor is getting his stuff set up and Miguel and Vicente arrive right on time as usual. Some quick planning and we move all the cows into the central barn yard and then into the paddock which is part of our corral.
Once the cows are in the corral, we herd them in groups into the squeeze chute and onto the trailer. First my trailer, then David’s trailer.
Putting the cows into the squeeze chute didn’t go as planned, as the cows would balk at the entrance and refuse to go in. It took all Miguel and I could do to get them in where usually it only takes one person. Something else to figure out when I have time, which I don’t.
So finally we get the cows into the squeeze chute and start working them onto the trailer.
This picture looks like we are making progress, but our cows have a habit of getting to the trailer and then turning around and coming back, which creates a log jam for all the other cows trying to go forward. The only option is to unload them all, then reload them again as a group, something we do a few times. When it goes right, it looks like this.
Miguel being in the chute with them isn’t the way we’d like it, but by this point it was what we had to do to get them loaded. My trailer was loaded, then we pulled David’s trailer into place and loaded him. Then David and I left to drive the 1.1 mile to his place. As I drove down my driveway I hear David honking his horn. Knowing he closed my gate on the trailer, and the way he’s honking, I immediately know what has happened, he didn’t lock the gate and it’s coming open. As I stop, I see I’m right as Uno, cow #1 steps off the trailer and looks at me. I quickly close the gate so nobody else steps off and David and I spent 10 minutes walking Uno back to the barn which involves some Benny Hill moments along the way but works out eventually. I’m kicking myself for not checking my own gate the whole time and wondering what ridicule I’ll get from Miguel but fortunately we’re all too busy to get into that right now. With Uno back in the pasture, we leave again and drive to David’s. As we get there, I note that the wheel on David’s trailer looks pretty bad. It lost a wheel bearing earlier which he replaced, and he was going to get a new axle soon but as he pulls into the pasture the wheel FALLS OFF! Something that could have happened on the road and not the pasture. The new wheel bearing lasted about 5 minutes before disintegrating. We drag the trailer to the paddock and unload the cows, then pull it aside to be worked on later. A few more loads and we have almost all the cows in but by this point I’m out of time and a few cows have to stay behind. As I type this, I’m listening to cows holler that are missing the rest of the herd and we are getting ready to make one last load. Hopefully it will go smoothly as once again, I’m out of time before I even start. However, that’s skipping ahead, I haven’t told you the most interesting part of the last few days…