Our eight Holstein heifers at our Hideway Farm will graduate from Cow College -- Bovine Boarding School -- and head back to the mother farm Saturday to begin their careers as full-time working dairy cows. It was a great summer with the eight cuties, who were a bit younger and more active than last year's herd of 10.
We spotted this year's class two weekends ago chasing each other through the field with surprising speed and taking time to butt each other. They singled out one -- Eyebrow, then Goalpost -- to gang up on, and doing things cows typically don't do. It looked as though it were a cow sorority hazing. I had to wonder what was in the hay? Were they high on grass?
Tomorrow we will load all eight heifers -- shown to the left eating supper on a beautiful fall evening -- onto a trailer for the ride back to their home farm of Shilling Hill in Chartiers. They, as happened with me at graduation, will be unwilling to return home to begin their uncertain careers. So cow graduation will require a team to herd them to a holding pen then pull, push, scream and grunt until we get them inside the trailer. It's sad actually seeing them in the trailer.
Loading heifers onto trailers is hard work. Things come out of cows during this maneuver at most unfortunate times. Caution is recommended. It will be a slapstick episode with no guarantees. Last year after loading the cows, I had to rinse off outside then head straight to the bathroom for an emergency bath. The cows express strong opinions during Operation Homebound, and I didn't necessarily appreciate how they expressed those opinions. I'm not talking about mooing. I'm referring to the other end.
With diabetes, loading cows represents one of those events when the blood-sugar levels most assuredly will decline. Chasing cows, then trying to push their hind flanks into the trailer while they are reluctant to allow their hind flanks to enter said trailer always is an energy-expending ordeal. I am hoping to get a video of it for your viewing pleasure. Watch Dave wrestle with the north end of south-bound cows. Of course, Dave will be careful to protect his kidneys while the cows will be busy unloading theirs.
I plan to test my blood sugar before festivities begin. I will have grape juice or other carbohydrates at hand for emergency boosts of blood sugar. I will test as I go to assure my sugar levels don't get too low, especially with my shoulder pressing against an active cow rump. It shouldl show the impact of exercise on blood-sugar levels.