We’ve had better days.
As Robbin, Zach and Clarence goosenecked their horses to gather our first-calf heifers and their Wagyu X calves, I grabbed a couple of bales from the hay barn on the way for chum, and for the extra calves that wouldn’t make the load that we’d be weaning. In the process of coming down the stack, I put a hay hook in my right hand.
Too much blood to contain with a tight handkerchief, I returned to the house for first aid supplies. Back on the road, I met Robbin and Clarence coming back when I didn’t show at the gate. 6:15 a.m.
I knew I needed stitches, but with truck and brand inspector coming at 8:00 a.m., calves to be sorted and weighed, I figured as long as I could keep the wound clean and blood contained, we needed to carry on. (We work all year for shipping day.) We had the heifers and steers weighed by 7:30. Jody Fuller arrived with her calves by gooseneck to fill-out the load at 8:00 a.m., having had a little trouble getting her cows in. We weighed them all, sorted, and then weighed back the heifers. 8:45 a.m.
4,500 lbs. over the truck’s legal weight limit with a 3% shrink, we then had to pull and weigh enough calves to load the truck to get by the scales on Donner on the way to Idaho. The truck left at 10:00 a.m., but not before many recalculations as to how to disperse the load by the truck driver who also let a calf escape. Not good, but easily recaptured by Robbin and Zach.
After irrigating and setting-up a feeder in the corrals for the extra calves we’d be weaning, Robbin and I left at 11:00 for the two week-old Health Clinic in nearby Woodlake, opting to forgo the usual insanity at Emergency in Visalia, where we waited and waited in a near-empty waiting room. Close to a tendon, the nurse practitioner cleaned-up the wound but didn’t want to do any sewing. We left for Kaweah Delta Hospital Emergency at 1:30 p.m., picked-up some antibiotics in Exeter and stopped to get something to eat at 4:00 p.m. on our way home.
I left to check on the calves we just weaned and to see how the mowing in the irrigated pasture was going. Home by 6:00 p.m., Robbin thought she heard water running and located a PVC pipe to the house that the cattle had cracked while we were gone. Plumbing done by 7:30 p.m., we sat down for a drink in the last of the gloaming.
Woke up this morning to a flat tire on the Kubota, but we’re laughing, glad not to be racing down the highway to punch someone else’s time clock.