Thursday was designated “foot day”. At about 10am Greg headed off to try to find Mike who was going to give our bovine ladies a pedicure and was apparently taking the “scenic route”. Sadly, strangers on the Key Peninsula could get old trying to find their way out of a landscape that consists of …trees. All the trees look the same and for someone like me who was born without an inbuilt GPS, getting lost is the norm so I am unsurprised when a left turn turns into a right turn and we receive a frantic howl for help. Mike arrived safely, following Greg in the big farm Chevi and pulling something that reminded me of an instrument designed as a medieval piece of torture complete with slings straps gears and levers. Mike shared with us that he had on occasions been stopped by State troopers who were concerned by the bizarre mechanical piece of equipment and had shared with them as with us that it is in fact a tilt squeeze for cows and not something more villainous. My innocent Jersey heifer, Misty Moo was the first “victim” and anticipating a treat she initially happily tripped her little black hooves through the gate.. but stopped abruptly when faced with the rusty black construction they were clearly expecting her to enter. NOT HAPPENING !!! Misty put on the bovine breaks, her eyes opened wide with horror and my poor cow looked at me accusingly whilst clearly searching for a quick exit. So, Greg Pulled…Mike pushed and I unsuccessfully tried persuasion with a slice of soggy white bread. Poor Misty eventually capitulated to the inevitable and unwillingly surrendered herself to the machine. Once strapped in, secured in the sling, her little black hooves securely restrained by stout rope and her pretty little head braced, my little Jersey heifer stoically refused to acknowledge the by now even soggier crumbling slice of white bread I was offering in reward and was clearly going to hate us forever after this experience. Daisy May, the black Dexter cow, well accustomed to entering a squeeze chute for her routine and always uneventful daily milking event, entered the strange contraption relatively easily. Things were however not going to go that smoothly, once the gears and lift began to move, once her feet left the security of terra firma and once her body became horizontal Daisy May’s inner demons all broke loose at once and our sweet Daisy became a kicking squirming black monster. Fortunately the bovine pedicure is only an annual event, I’m not convinced Mike would happily make it a more regular occurrence and I’m certain both cows are not eager to repeat the experience in a hurry…..me neither !!
Hope you enjoy the pictures. Time for me to go, the cuckoo clock has spoken. Take care, keep safe. M