I have volunteered to feed our cows their ‘breakfast’ every morning, yes you read correctly …. I volunteered. This is extremely brave of me, because the Hobbit looks after our cows all of the time, and to be honest they intimidate me a little.
Who am I kidding, they scare me a whole lot.
We have had so much rain the paddocks are muddy and with the grass growing slowly our little herd (four cows, one steer and two calves) simply doesn’t have enough food. The Hobbit and I don’t want them to be hungry or loose condition so we have to supplement their feed, hence the whole ‘volunteering thing’.
On the first morning, when I went to give the cows their ‘breakfast’, I got to the paddock and could see only one cow (the one we call Holy Cow) standing at a distance and I couldn’t see the others. I felt relieved and pretty confident I would get the pellets into the trough without the cows being near me.
I put the 25 kg bag in the wheelbarrow, pushed it as far as I could to the electric wire, disconnected the battery, ducked under the wire and dragged the bag about 3 metres to the trough. As I started filling the trough with the pellets I heard Holy Cow moo a couple of times while running towards me, and then from around the corner the other six came pounding down at speed.
Bearing in mind the mud I was standing in was sticky it meant that a speedy escape would not be possible, plus as an average cow weighs 720 kg, you can understand why I felt anxious, and consequently motivated to empty the bag of pellets post haste. In my hurry to get out of the paddock I abandoned the wheel barrow and bag.
Standing from behind the safety of the electric wire (I reconnected the battery as fast as I could) watching the cows eating their ‘breakfast’ and later chewing their cud, I felt a bit of a rush. I thought the feeling was probably the same one would get from participating in an extreme sport! As I avoid extreme sports at all costs, I can only imagine it is a similar feeling.
Day two, and shock and horror, as I rounded the corner to the paddock I saw the cows standing quietly, waiting for their breakfast. Clearly I wasn’t going to get the pellets into the trough without them crowding around me, pushing and shoving.
I have now fed the cows for four mornings and I have become very clever at distracting them with some of the food while I trudge through the mud, dragging the bag behind me, to fill the trough as quickly as possible. Day by day my confidence has grown, even though I have shocked myself on the electric fence wire a couple of times while making my escape.
We will keep feeding the cows for as long as it takes, and I am anticipating doing the ‘breakfast run’ for most of October. I am proud of my efforts to date and rapidly getting the nickname of cowgirl.
Somehow though, I doubt there will be a rodeo in my future!