Mar 25, 2011

"Move 'em on, Head 'em out...!"
Part II

With the pen set up in the new hay barn it was time to start moving the animals out one by one.
Pappa was directing operations with the rest of us giving our support and his method was so good, it really worked well.
Here's how we did it:
Pappa drove the big tractor right into the passageway of the old hay barn and up to the door where the animals were.

Meanwhile, Gustav and Maxie were in there and Gustav put a halter onto the first to be moved - the big bull. Then they attached a spännband (webbed tow rope) to the halter,  fed it out through the door,
and secured it to the front end loader of the waiting tractor.

While Pappa backed the tractor up slowly, Gustav coaxed the bull out into the passageway. Maxie and I watched from behind a barrier, at a safe distance.
At first it looked like the bull was going to cooperate, but you never know what a bull might do, so we felt it was a wise choice.

And we were right. 
It was only a second until all the kicking and yanking and snorting began in earnest. 
 See the dust cloud forming by the front feet? 
There was a lot of  pretty fierce stomping going on.

And it got worse before it got better.

 Back and back and back Pappa went, keeping it slow and steady with the rope taut.  The bull ran this way and that way, lunging and charging as hard as he was able.

But before too long, they got him safely in the gate.  Gustav talked to him so soothingly as he took off the halter and the rope,

and Maxie was on hand with the pitchfork to make sure the hay bale was loosened up so the bull could eat easily.
Safe and sound!

This was nowhere near how it had been in the past.  It was smooth and safe and the big bull was in more quickly than we could have anticipated.
Using the tractor was an excellent idea.
So now, with the largest animal moved, it was time to do the others.

The young bull, not as big and strong but still with a mind of his own, danced around a bit, got tangled up in the tow rope, but eventually went in as well.
These two heifers took the scenic route into nearby snow drifts,
while the last one got the "Miss Congeniality" award, walking happily along and right into the pen without a hitch to be with the rest of the gang.

Mission accomplished!
It went slick as a whistle and in record time.

 With the winter sun still shining through the trees, Pappa and I felt that the boys deserved to have something really fun after such an adventure.  They had worked hard and done well.
Both of them asked if they could go out into the forest on the snowmobile to build a campfire and have a cookout together.
We thought that was a fitting reward.
While they cleaned up outside, the hot chocolate was made on the woodstove inside, poured into the thermos,

and loaded into the backpack with the other food.

As dusk settled in, they were off,
(and they had a glorious time!)

There are so many things to be learned in farm life. 
They say that's the beauty of it...that there is always a new challenge, 
 a better method, a clearer insight of what to try or how to do something differently.
I know that it is true.
Our success in getting the bulls and heifers out so well this Spring was due in large part to Hans' dedication to providing the very best treatment of all living things.
He had the idea, he led the way, we offered our support, and all were blessed.

They're moved and they're out!

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