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?