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Rascal takes a hike

December 21, 2010


Image via Wikipedia

Or, why good gate latches are required

So there I was about 24 hours ago, sitting at my desk in the corner of the bedroom, when I spy movement out the front window. Big movement.  BIG, BLACK movement where only vehicular traffic is supposed to be.

3 of the Neighbor’s  4-H calves are out

And there, in what is an unfenced cut bean field are 3 of the neighbors 4-H calves, two beautiful black Gelbviehs and a black and white Holstein, casually strolling along the roadside.  The one black Gelbvieh is named “Rascal” and he is the leader of this trio. Roughly, I thought, about 3 x 800 = 2400 pounds of traffic trouble, should a driver approach.

Apparently, the gate latch on their feed lot gate had gone on strike, objecting to the harsh working conditions.  It has been about 20 degrees colder than normal for the past few weeks.  And the *normally operated by gravity* latch had failed to *fall into place*.  Now if you have ever had roughly 800 pound calves running loose in your yard, then you probably know that those suckers are fast. When they want to be, that is.  So when the neighbor came back from her normal drive to work, I approached the calves cautiously. S-L-O-W-L-Y, very slowly,  so as not to scare the freedom loving creatures.  She gathered a feed pail and some cattle snacks, and with a gentle shaking action, easily got the two black calves back into their enclosure.

They may be fast, but they are also highly motivated by tasty treats.  The Holstein was a little more difficult, as he was on the back side of the corral from the gate, and could not for the life of him figure out why the nice lady with the snacks in the bucket was so stinkin *inaccessible* over there, beyond the fence AND the corral gate.

So that is where having the ability to “Look like an impenetrable barrier” is an advantage.  There I was, feet wide apart, arms outstretched, looking like a wall of cow fence, (one that could move side-to-side real fast), and convinced young Mr. Holstein that he should move away from me, that is toward the gate.

And in very short order, the freedom of the three 4-H calves, and the possible traffic mayhem that could have resulted, was reduced back to normal.  And the sticking latch was fenangled into the correct position.

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