Carlyon Family Blog

Flossing Cows Teeth March 9, 2016 08:44 2 Comments

 Hi there – its Janet again – the mom and chore person

Sunday morning we are out feeding cattle and as we put out big hay bales with twine on them I get the  chance to floss some teeth on the cattle! Now you may wonder how that can happen so I will tell you. We can do this every week so we are sure to get some teeth cleaned every time. So important for those cud chewers!!
So every week the tractor operator (husband) moves bales into the feed area and it is my job to remove the twine around the bales before they go into the feeders. For the twine I need a large exacto type knife to cut thru all the wraps of twine around the bale and then pull it all off and roll into a nice ball. So as I am cutting the twine the hungry critters start munching on the bale and usually manage to grab a string or two in with the hay and start chewing. This is the moment we wait for. If I am lucky I can grab the tail end of the string as the animal moves away from me and pull it out. If I am not lucky I get to chase the animal around and try to step on the string tail and get the partially chewed string back. This is how they get their teeth flossed. It usually manages to get between their teeth and as I pull, it cleans! So this string or twine is a very pretty blue and must taste good as the animal keeps chewing and as I try to pull it seems to be stuck. And then it suddenly opens up its mouth and a big chunk of string and food comes out. Hurray! Success! I just cleaned between some teeth and it won't get cavities!!!
As I move to the next bale I see ice patches on the bale and curse winter storms. These bales are not nice to remove the twine from  as everything is frozen in place. As I cut down the bale I proceed to kneel down to get to the bottom strings and inadvertently kneel on a frozen lump of 'something' under the snow and feel my knee bruising. OUCH!! Just as I re-adjust my knee rest, my dog Rascal comes close to me (he loves it when we come down to his level) and some cows are coming close to sniff him. He then proceeds to lick my face and I get an instant ice cheek!! As well I as a nice smudge on my glasses! Blurred vision and icy cheeks. Yeah!

Feeding Hay to Steers

We continue on to feed all the groups of cattle, fighting with frozen strings and wrap, and finally everyone has enough hay to last a week. This is a Sunday morning ritual at our farm all winter. They also get a nice bale or two of straw all spread out in their bedding area.  All of the steers, heifers and cows look so content when they go for a lay down in the bed of straw. Now we can go in and enjoy a nice cup of hot chocolate to warm up frozen fingers and toes, and maybe get in a Sunday afternoon nap. We can relax knowing that everyone is fed up for the week and bedded down in comfy, clean straw. As for their teeth….flossing them is for the birds – just a little farmer humor!!