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From the Farm

Bovine Olympics

July 17, 2009
By Kerry Hoffman

The cows were happier than Paul Hamm of the 2004 men's gymnastics Olympics team. They ran, jumped and kicked their legs out more than any gymnast doing a floor routine.

Every year, and I know I have written about this before, one of my favorite days is the day we let our cows out onto pasture for the first time in the spring.

I was able to experience this last Saturday.

Article Photos

Kerry Hoffman

Our barn, as I stated last week, isn't completely finished.

I should also mention that last week I wrote about getting along during construction. I also put in my column that Steve and I haven't really argued about anything. Well, now it's a lie. Last Friday, the very day the column ran, Steve and I had our first argument. Steve wanted me to help with fencing.

Last Saturday, Steve and I worked our butts off to prepare our new bedding-pack barn enough to let our cows use it. We wanted our cows to have time to adjust before the new cows arrived.

I helped put the ugly electric fencing up and make sure it was sending shocks through the wire.

"OK, now you can touch it to see if it's working," Steve said.

You would think, after 11 years of marriage, Steve would realize that I know this is not a safe suggestion. Apparently, he thinks that as I age, my memory is fading worse than a pair of dark-blue Levis in a hot water wash.

I didn't touch the fence.

I told Steve to do it.

I also cleaned the cement feed alley where the cows will stand to eat. It was full of little chunks of cement, and I didn't want the cows to step on any and end up with hurt feet. Do you know how hard it is to get little chunks of cement out of the grooves in a new cement floor?

Grooves are put in the floor to decrease the chances of the cows slipping and doing the splits.

As you know, God didn't give cows the ability to do the splits. I am not talking about splits where one leg goes to the front and the other goes toward the back. I am talking about the splits where the legs go out on the sides.

I don't recall seeing Paul Hamm do this stunt. Just thinking about it makes my body hurt.

Let's face it, no matter how graceful a cow tries to be when she does the splits, she'll never earn a score higher than 1. When cows do the splits, it's not as graceful as a youthful gymnast at the games in Athens. A cow would get one point because she stuck her landing - hard. (If little gymnasts weighed as much as a cow, would they stick their landing every time?) In addition, unlike that youthful gymnast, a cow can't return to her feet once she is in this awful position.

A cow's coach cannot lift a cow without the help of a tractor to get her off the ground. This is probably why gymnasts are on such strict diets. They have to be slim, so the out-of-shape coaches can pick them up off the ground.

Anyway.

Last Saturday, Steve and I placed bets on whether the cows would go directly to the new barn after milking. I didn't think so. They are so accustomed to going to the feed bunk, there "is no way they are going to visit the Penthouse."

We call the new barn the Penthouse.

I was wrong. Steve won the bet. Several cows had to go check out the new "digs."

After the cows were finished with supper, my entire family walked out to the Penthouse to check on the location of the cows.

They were in the barn, and they were having a blast. They were so excited it was scary.

It's a good feeling to know the cows appreciate what we have done for them.

Yup, the cows were happier than Paul Hamm at the Olympics.

I could swear I saw a tear in Number 28's eye.

 
 

 

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