Friday, March 22, 2013

Friday Farm Fun- Doggin' it

Every evening we feed the cattle with a tractor and hay wagon. The dogs love this chore. Boots and Molly, the cow dogs,  hop up on the trailer and hay as soon as I walk toward the tractor.
Tink in her basket

Tink, the house dog, loves to ride on tractors or machinery. My husband has attached baskets on every tractor we have so she can ride. If the backhoe starts up she yips at the door and runs to get a ride. I stand by the tractor, waiting for Tink's ritual of dancing around my legs until I pick her up and put her in the basket on the side of the tractor.

The old two-cycle poppin' John, John Deere that is attached to the hay trailer starts up, popping and sputtering. When the wagon starts moving, Molly barks with excitement. Tink cringes from the loud noise, but soon is staring ahead with the wind flapping her ears.

Boots and Molly waiting for the gate to open
With the tractor in 4th gear, we sail out of the yard and down the lane to the gate into the pasture. The cows and calves bawl and flow like a school of fish toward the gate. The dogs and I wait outside the field for my husband to come home from his day job. When he arrives, he opens the gate and we move through at a slow pace. Molly barks at the cows when they get close to the hay trailer.

The bulls rub their heads on the 800 lb bales, sometimes shoving them so hard they hang over the edge on the other side. The cows are showered with hay as it is shoved off the trailer and onto their backs before hitting the ground.

When the cows stop following the trailer, Molly stops barking and Boots settles back until my husband jumps off the trailer. Then Boots follows him and the two walk through the cattle checking each one to make sure they are healthy.

I head the tractor back to the gate and out. The dogs settle quietly on the hay and enjoy the ride back to the yard. The tractor is parked and we do the process all over the next day.


Stephanie said...

A perfect description. Our dogs took particular delight in keeping the cattle from heading out the gate until the trailer was inside the pasture. I've fed by myself more than once by tipping the bales off the stack onto the trailer and putting the truck in low then climbing onto the trailer and flipping hay onto the ground.

Paty Jager said...

Stephanie, I've fed by myself before too. Either putting the tractor on low and feeding off, or moving the tractor, stopping feeding some, and then moving the tractor some more.

Diana Mcc. said...

You painted a lovely picture of your evening chore, feeding the cattle. And a basket for Tink on every piece of equip, how precious is that?

Paty Jager said...

Thanks Diana, Yes, Tink is spoiled!

bn100 said...

How did Boots get his name?

bn100candg at hotmail dot com

Paty Jager said...

Bn 100, My husband saved Boots from being taken out and shot as a puppy because she had a limp. She'd fallen out of the back of a car trunk where a man had border collie puppies he was selling. My husband said he'd take her and brought her home. It wasn't long until she no longer limped but was a very shy dog. I don't know why my husband named her Boots, he just did.