And by cows I mean cattle, if that’s the proper term to encompass all commonly farmed bovines.
I know nothing about cows, and never have. They have beautiful eyes, most of them, and some are quite shaggy and cute, and who doesn’t love a baby calf? But they slobber, a lot, and stick their tongues up their noses which is gross. So I never really got into cows.
Back in the early 80s I rented a room from a farrier. It fascinated me to watch him work, and the makeup of equine hooves is amazing! During that time, and for several years after, I worked a bit with some equine vets and at a couple of race tracks, plus I’d had my own horse for a while and a donkey for a number of years…so I picked up a bit of knowledge as time went on about their feet.
One evening recently we were looking for something to watch on TV, and happened across a YouTube channel that said it was about hooves. Of course I was thinking of horse and donkey hooves so we switched it on. But it was about cow feet. I decided to watch anyway and by the end of the episode I was hooked. I have been watching The Hoof GP at every opportunity since. EVERY opportunity! I’ve even had a couple of dreams about cows.
My only experience with cows was when I was in my 20s and needed a few bales of hay for my donkey or goats, don’t remember which…but seeing an ad in the paper for some and I drove my Chevette over to buy it. (I could get a 6 large bales in that car!) As I pulled into the driveway of the farmhouse I was impressed by a huge freshly planted vegetable garden, with strings down each row and lots of neatly labeled signs. It had to be a quarter acre, and obviously done by hand.
When the lady came out of the house I told her how beautiful her garden was, and she shared that she’d worked sunup to sundown for a couple of days to get it done and was quite proud of her work. She said every year she likes to watch the tidy rows of vegetables grow, and it was quite satisfying to her. After chatting a while she went into a small barn within the pasture where there 4 “cows” – they were neutered males being raised for meat, whatever those are called, about half grown. She signaled for me to drive in to the shed, and tossed out the hay which I then stacked in my car.
I only had a $20 bill for my $12 charge so she told me to go ahead and pull back up to the house while she went in for change. So I got in my car, backed out of the pasture, and started to get out to close the gate but was horrified to see that these four “cows” had followed me! Knowing nothing about cows I tried to shoo them back in but they were ready to play (I guess?) and ran right out…into that beautiful garden! I had NO idea what to do, and the woman came screaming out of the house yelling at me for letting the cows out, I just wanted to cry! I asked her how I could help and she said, “You’ve done enough! Just leave!” which I was happy to do at that point…even without my change!
As I drove away I looked at the totally wrecked garden, and saw her in my rearview mirror, chasing them down the road. I stopped long enough to see them run into the woods about a half-mile away, with her after them…
And that is my one experience with cows.
Meanwhile, I have found another hoof trimmer who makes videos, Midwestern Hoof Trimmer Aaron LaVoy in Wisconsin, that I also watch on occasion. But there’s nobody like Graeme Parker for the educational benefit. I’m just waiting to see an episode about catching loose cows.