A Pedicure and Some Bling

Frances had quite a day yesterday.

She went to the beauty parlor.

Jason came and picked her up yesterday morning and took her to the dairy to have a pedicure.

She hates it.

This is why she hates it.


If you ever tried to trim a cow’s hooves  with the cow standing upright, you will appreciate that chute/table thing. The cow can’t do anything to resist, the farrier is not in danger of being kicked into the next century, and therefore can do a better and faster job trimming.  The whole thing is better for everyone and that includes Frances.

We did not go. I thought about it briefly, to get photos, but decided not to. She is stressed enough without having Mommy there during her moment of sheer horror and embarrassment.

Jason brought her home after a couple of hours with nice trimmed feet.  She was in a huge hurry, upon exiting the trailer, to get back to her pasture.

This is not a luxury.  It’s not just for looks.  It’s essential to the health and well-being of the cow. If she can’t walk comfortably, she won’t, and if she doesn’t, she will ultimately die.

Frances has one very odd hoof, the back right one.  It grows weirdly.  Cows’ hooves are cloven (two separate pieces to them).  The outer piece of that hoof grows at a crazy angle.  For that reason, we really need a good farrier to do a number on it about twice a year.  It’s much easier for us to just pop her in over there when he’s doing the dairy’s cows than to have him come out to our place for one cow.

He does surgery, basically, on that hoof while just doing a regular trim on the others.  This time, he took off about 1/3 of her back hooves and only had to trim a little bit from the front two.  That’s pretty much how it always is.

She came home with a bandage.  It’s made of very tough material so it can withstand a cow walking on it.  It comes off tomorrow morning.  I’m sure he had to cut into the quick and she probably bled some.  This is also pretty normal for her. The hoof looks much better.

In addition to that serious adventure, she got some bling yesterday for her stanchion.  Deb made Frances her very own decoration.  Originally, it said “Frances” on it, but apparently Stella sabotaged it and it no longer says that, but it’s okay because Frances can’t read.

Here’s her stanchion bling.  She is very proud of it.

I think that is supposed to be me.  I think of her as the barn guardian, watching over Frances as she eats.

Frances does not have the greatest table manners. She gets grain all over her nose.  She doesn’t care.

At any rate, I wanted to get photos of the bling and also of her hoof.  It’s hard to photograph her hooves.

For one thing, it’s fall.  During the fall and spring,  it’s often muddy around here.  Cows are not the cleanest animals on the planet. They just don’t care about dirt.

In addition, Frances has had a bit of diarrhea lately.  All cow poo is soft and sometimes a little runny.  Yours would be too if you ate the amount of fiber she does.  To add to that, we have her on alfalfa twice a day and that stuff is a major laxative.

So she’s a mess.  If this happens during the summertime, she gets a bath, every day, if necessary.  Because she has had two bouts of pneumonia close together, we’re not giving her a bath in this weather.  She can stay dirty for the time being.

Anyway, I tried to get pictures.

There’s the hoof and you can see the bandage.  It really looks good.  I promise it does.

But while I was getting the photo, I got distracted.

I got distracted by her tail.

When she has the runs, she sometimes manages to get it in her tail.  When we cannot give her bath, it dries.  And that’s what it looks like.

I do have a way to tie her tail back while I’m milking, because there is no experience in the world more pleasant than being hit in the face with a manurey tail.

But the tail.

I was so intrigued by the tail that I got another photo of it.

I cannot for the life of me figure out what it reminds me of.  Anyone got any ideas?


34 thoughts on “A Pedicure and Some Bling”

  1. OMG! I recognized it right away. You’re trying to trick us! That’s not Frances’ tail.

    That’s a picture of Niki’s hair, isn’t it? 😉 😈


  2. LMAO. I am dying over here!

    And Frances honey, I hate the pedicure thing too. I had one once! I hate having my toes touched.


  3. I bet she was wrapped with vetrap and duct tape over it so it would survive the night.

    I bet you thought about dunking here tail in a bucket of hot water and mineral oil!


  4. My two granddaughters, 5 and 10, are both home from school with impetigo, and since they are not really sick and only home because until 24 hours after the start of the antibiotics they cannot be around other kids (they have an epidemic of it in the K class), we decided to make lunch for my daughter who works on a ranch with a shit load of cows. We filled the picnic basket with sandwiches, chips, dessert, drinks, and my red and white table cloth and napkins because the girls wanted it to be a real picnic. While we were there, we bottle fed four calves that are newborn–a set of twins whose mother died and two others whose mothers won’t feed them. We also helped my daughter fill up bags with dried cow shit because I need it for my garden this spring and she said I should plow the garden up and put the shit down and till it a few times to work it in so that is our plan. Then we sat under a huge oak tree and had our lunch and we smelled cow shit and the cows in the pasture near us stood and watched us. The owner of the ranch came by and decided to accept our offer of a sandwich and he joined us, which brings me to diarrhea and cows. We were eating and talking and the owner of the ranch was telling us that his wife had found a bob cat den and if we wanted, he would take us on the murphy or whatever they call the small vehicles over to take a peek and you know I had to see it. After we ate, we loaded up and headed over to a bluff where there seemed to be little cave indentions and as soon as we pulled up, the adult bob cat took off, leaving her babies alone. The owner said the goal is for us to chase the mother so that’s why she left but was standing on a hill not too far watching and we saw the bob cat babies but we didn’t touch them. On our way back, to the murphy thingy, I accidentally stepped in an oil slick or so I thought and my daughter said, nope, it’s cow shit and I said but it’s like an oil slick and she said yep, they changed hay and it takes a little bit for some of the cows to adjust so a few had diarrhea and that the vet had been there and said not to worry. Then we saw it, a huge cow explosively expelling the crap all over her tail, hips, legs, and everything else. That’s when I said, shit, and the owner said, that’s exactly what it is. But now that you mentioned it, that shit crusted tail, all dripping with fresh shit, reminds me of something too…or someone…I’m trying to remember where I’ve seen such a nasty similarity and it’s right on the tip of my tongue. Shit!


  5. Frances has poo dreads! It must be how all the cool cows are “wearing” their tails, OR perhaps Frances is an IFNJ and wearing dreads is Frances’ way of expressing her own individuality/nonconformance?

    The thing is, Frances’ dread tail looks cleaner than some dreads I have seen? Hmmm.


  6. No sexy polish for Fran’s toes?

    Sometimes they paint the show cow’s hooves black. 🙂 Frances prefers shit-colored feet and she walks in the real thing. No fake stuff for our girl.


  7. Ah yes, I believe shit accumulating in hair until it clumps is called “free form”. I heard this from an expert


  8. Then we saw it, a huge cow explosively expelling the crap all over her tail, hips, legs, and everything else.

    You don’t want to be standing anywhere near her when she does that.

    What I love is when she does it in the stanchion while being milked. Thankfully, it happens very seldom. I will never forget the person who came on a cow forum once asking if it was possible to housebreak a cow. Everyone laughed.


  9. Thank you, Sally, for the very special Frances post! Complete with photos.

    Again, I’m asking reallllllly sweetly, with those big sad cartoon eyes: May we PLEASE have a donkey post? Complete with photos?? O.O


  10. Did you know that it is possible to teach horses to poop in a designated area? Some of them will even pee in only one particular portion of their box stall.

    It tends to be easier to train the boys, at least in my experience. All you have to do is decide where you want them to poop, then put a manure forkful in that particular spot but with a different horse’s poop. Preferably another male, but a mare if that is what you have.

    Stallions tend to make stallion piles out in the paddock if they are out with other horses. They’ll still do it if out alone, but are less inclined to do so. They are most inclined to have designated poop and pee spots in their stalls too.

    Gelding will do it as well, but you have to start them young.

    I’ve had mixed success with mares. The biggest mess-maker mare I ever cared for was a Thoroughbred mare whose owner insisted that her bedding be “fluffed” every single day. The mare was terribly hard on a stall. I swear, she CHURNED IT overnight. The trainer kept fussing at us because the owner was fussing at him. The day J threw her manure fork into the barn aisle and told him he could clean her stall and she’d eat $2/day was funny. Only took him TWO days before he told the mare’s owner to stuff it.

    Anyway, no – I don’t want to be around explosive cow diarrhea. Horse manure tends to be a lot tidier overall. I do love her bling though. Stella is a keeper.


  11. Frances is no longer a Normie. How sad for her. Frances, please come back to the Normie side. How DO you get it out anyways? We have a horse that gets terrible wind knots, we brush her mane every week but I am seriously considering chopping her mane much shorter. My daughter likes it long, she does parades but I am really sick of tediously cutting out the really bad knots.


  12. Re: Frances’ tail. If the weather is warm, she gets a bath and a brushing. It’s not a problem. When it’s like this, in winter, I will sometimes get a bucket of warm water and soak her tail as long as she will be reasonably still for it. (I realize you can’t do that with a mane.)

    Rain will eventually take it all out.

    We cut her bandage off her hoof this morning, which was a bit of a rodeo. We have leg restraints in her stanchion for moments like that. They look like medieval torture devices, but really they are there to enable us to do what we have to do without hurting her.

    Her hoof just looks fabulous.


  13. Tekla, cows shit and then lie down in it. They literally position themselves to plant their udder right in it, because it’s warm.

    There is no such thing as a cow going potty in any particular place. They don’t even stop walking. And they go about 15 times per day.


  14. May we PLEASE have a donkey post?

    I am trying. They are really not terribly interesting. They don’t DO anything except stand there and look at me like I’m nuts and then go back to grazing. They’re cute to look at, but we don’t interact with them as much as we do the cattle.


  15. Oh, I know you can’t train a cow to shit in a particular spot. I just thought I’d toss in some information about horses.

    I guess you can tell us if the donkeys have designated pooping areas or not. I’m thinking not.


  16. So now that I am not laughing anymore – I do have a question. Will you have to cut her tail to get rid of all that mess or is there a way to wash it out?


  17. Will you have to cut her tail to get rid of all that mess or is there a way to wash it out?

    OMG, no. We never cut her tail. It’s her fly-swatter (and Sally-swatter when she’s peeved with me).

    Actually, we absolutely could not stand her another minute and so she got a bath this afternoon. We only did her back half and we brushed her off to get as much water off her as we could and kept her in the barn for a while to dry. The tail is lots better. LOL


  18. Thanks for trying for us, Sally. I shall patiently await a donkey post no matter how long it takes. 🙂


  19. Please, please, please throw some blue/red dye on one of Frances’s poop dreads. Oh my, that would be hysterical!


  20. Thank you for answering. I really didn’t know. I know matts in fur cause my dogs and cats pain. And therefore need to be cut out. I have several very old rescues who have trouble with brushing, even gently. So I wasn’t sure if this was an issue with cows.


  21. So I wasn’t sure if this was an issue with cows.

    The difference is in the texture of the hair. Mane and tail hair on cows and horses is coarse. It doesn’t really mat like dog hair. It’s just a question of softening the dried poo and then washing it out.


  22. Oh and you know those white birds that sit on the backsides of the cows, eating insects and probably cow shit too, well, when we were at the ranch, I said, oh, why are those ducks on the cows backs. The ranch owner looked at my daughter and said, you’re right, she is a sissy girl. LOL. I guess when I stepped in the cow shit and made such a fuss, my daughter told him I was a big sissy. It seems as if they are not ducks but some other bird and are considered a nuisance because of carrying diseases from one cow to another. The birds are egrets and from a distance, to be fair, do look like ducks, sort of. So, do you guys have egrets up there in KY?


  23. Let me put it this way: I have never seen a bird sitting on the back of any of our cattle or anyone else’s cattle.


  24. Well, update on my previous comment, we ended up cutting that mare’s mane 🙁 poor girl has such a stringy, thin mane the wind knots are just too much to deal with in the winter. So I cut her mane shorter, hopefully enough that the wind knots are easily dealt with and not too short that it will grow back out nicely for the summer parades. Summer is easier because we can spray detangler in her mane but she’s old, she’d get too cold if we got her wet in the winter. She does not stall, something happened to her that she absolutely flips out in a stall so she has a run in barn/shelter. Don’t worry, her tail was left alone, for some reason it doesn’t get knots. We did try to braid her mane back to prevent tangles but it’s so thin it just fell out of the braid and tangled anyways.


  25. Jane – I bet she was in a barn fire. I knew a saddlebred who would still go into a stall quietly but you had to have him on a lunge line when he came barreling out. Beautiful manners in every other respect.


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