Ugh, Monday again? #A2 is bloated

Monday was supposed to be an easy day, at least for me. Michael, one of our workers out here finished his employment on Friday. But I’d already hired both Landon and Chris a couple of days prior to his last day so for the short-term, we had extra help around here. Inexperienced help, but help nonetheless. Plus the kids were back from camp so we’d have Spork out to help with the busy time of feeding first thing in the morning.

I’d spoken to Landon about his schedule on Saturday and all was good. That meant that we’d have Miguel, Vicente, Landon, and Chris all here working all day, and Spork in the morning, meaning I could do boss stuff like blog posts, updating the site with lamb prices, recovering from the party the night before. Things like that.

Instead I woke to find a text from Landon reminding me he’d told me originally he couldn’t work on Mondays. He’d forgotten to mention it when we talked on Saturday but he wasn’t coming in. Oops. Well, we’d still have three guys, plus Spork, which is enough. Not enough to have extra help but enough I can still get my stuff done.

Then Vicente texted and said he was sick and couldn’t come in. Uh oh. Now we are staffed at a level that is below normal. That means I’m going to have to do some actual work around here. Probably not much, just during the morning. I can still get some of my stuff done later in the day. Oh well, at least I know how. So 7:30 comes and goes, and no Spork. Finally I walk over to the house where SWMBO informs me that Spork is really tired from being at camp all week and that she’d told him he could take the day off. Of course, she didn’t tell Miguel or I so we were clueless. I went to his room to give him the bad news.

There are no days off on a farm.

He wasn’t exactly awake but trooper that he is he got out of bed and got dressed. I promised him breakfast if he’d get up so SWMBO whipped us up her typical amazing breakfast and we showed up for work about 8:15 (we start at 7:30).

Once at the barn, I learned that we had a cow that was acting strange. I hustled down to see and sure enough, one of the new cows was acting bloated. Prior to doing anything with the bloated cow, I had to wrangle a calf back into the paddock because he’d gotten out in all the 4th of July excitement the night before and momma was none too pleased.

With the calf back in place, I got the bloated cow up and confirmed that yes indeed, he was bloated.  Back to the barn to get my medical gear out and get a plan on handling the cow. Miguel was tearing around trying to get everyone fed so he could get to the market and pick up our produce. There was a rush because it is a holiday and he needs to be there early to get anything we can.

So Miguel, Chris, Spork, and I walk this cow through the pastures and up to the barn. Once he’s in the corral, Miguel takes off with instructions to me on who is left to be fed. Once he’s gone, I take Chris and Spork and we do some home surgery on our wayward cow. It was #A2, one of the cows we purchased from the stock yard.

Cow #A2 locked in the head gate getting a trocar for bloat
#A2, in the head gate. He was feeling pretty bad at this point

By now, inserting a trocar is relatively old hat. But Spork things it’s cool and Chris has never seen anything like this so I spend a little time explaining what I’m doing. I also take this opportunity to explain to Chris what the signs of bloat are and how he can tell. It’s one of his jobs to check the cows daily so this is a good opportunity for him.

Trocar inserted in #A2
After the trocar is inserted. #A2 feels MUCH better at this point.

After getting the trocar in the cow, we gave him a minute then turned him back in with the rest of the cows. I then spent a few minutes instructing Chris on how to herd and move cattle. Again, he’s brand new so this is information he needs. Then back to the barn to finish feeding all the pigs. And to get the momma pig with the babies back in the barn.

Oh, did I forget mention they’d escaped that morning and were roaming around the barn yard chasing chickens? In all the excitement I’d simply overlooked telling you. It’s Monday, right?

So I finished feeding the pigs. Then I grabbed the dump trailer, hauled it over to the barn where I had to clean up the debris from Lucy’s new chicken enterprise, then over to the 4th of July celebration to clean up all the detritus from that adventure. Then finally to the house so we can load construction debris that needs to go away. Yes, the house is under construction as well during all of this. It has been since October of 2015.

Once the trailer was dropped off, I stopped in to speak to SWMBO. It was 10am. Only 8 hours to go before my day ends. But it’s better than a Monday at work!

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