It was show time at our new corral. Thankfully and gratefully, we were able to have a helping hand from friends. Today was our annual cow blood test. The kids are on vacation so we needed some help keeping them happy while we gave our new cow pens a whirl (thanks G!). Our absolutely awesomely accented Scottish farmer friend helped us work the cattle. Once the vet arrived, we were ready to see how the concrete, the screws, the barriers, the terre held up.
When Brent and I first talked about this design, we had a tall order of putting the pens under cover in case it rained. Thus far, we’ve experienced drought conditions, I think we got sun brained. Of course, our first run of the pens was presented with one of the hardest downpours I’ve seen here in the Gers. But only for twenty minutes at a time and no wind. Thankfully, we didn’t have to wait out lightening. Nothing more daring than working livestock around large steely things in a lightening storm. Working in the rain didn’t stop us. It just made the tea and cake afterward taste that much better.
The girls did great. With so many unknowns like “gee, will their horns fit through the alley?” and “will the calves escape?” and “will they go in the pens at all?” – we now have a pile of bug fixes to work through for our next run. I’m sure Mr. GrassPunk will share the details. Most strongly I left our run through with the feeling that I’ve never felt more panicked about concrete. When I made concrete, I was all like, “whew, concrete. Just like makin’ bread in my kitchenaid.” Then, when you see your concrete in action with giant masses of steak on legs testing your work, you think, “shit, I suppose I could have used a bit less sand and maybe not so wet. Is that going to hold?!” Everything is still standing. There is some settling ( we only finished the work yesterday!) as well as a few bumps to strengthen.
Aside from the blood test, we also tagged a few more calves and did a few inspections on our mamas ( Heather, we named a calf after you, just so you know ). For me, tagging in the alley was much better for everyone involved. Brent had an easier time catching the calf, the calf was safe and calm in the alley and I had a bit more confidence piercing baby bovines. We might get the hang of this.
After a hard few hours, lots and lots of rain, a well napped baby, we wrapped up and got set to do the rest of our daily chores. Brent did his final rounds with the bovines and I got the kids up-to-date with their food and childish needs. Lucy and I made pizza. Because if I could order pizza and they would deliver, I would do that on this day only. But as there is no take-out nor is there delivery and since I make everything I possibly can except for sugar, wine and coffee, we made our pizza and it was the best pizza I ever ate.