Friday, June 29, 2012

Pink Eye Adventures

Time for a story. The kind of story that will leave you rolling on the floor laughing after you realize that the cows are alright. 

I'd tell you to close your eyes to help you imagine, but then you wouldn't be able to read the story, so maybe you should take a break after every couple sentences. 

A couple weeks ago, Dad noticed that several of our cows have pink eye. This can be caused by several different things, but in our case is probably a combination of the tall grass irritating their eyes and flies that carry the virus. 

Pink eye in cows is treated similar to how it is treated in humans. Eye drops. Except cow eye drops are in a big spray bottle. 

So, imagine our herd of 25 cows plus nearly that same amount of calves plus one bull. In one of the fields in the bottomland. Imagine that about eight of them have pink eye. 
Now, imagine that Dad and I are on the four wheeler chasing after each cow that has pink eye. He's driving. I'm holding on for dear life with one hand and  holding on tight to a spray bottle with the other hand. When we get close to a cow that has pink eye, I spray her eye as best as I can, without laughing too hard because I can't believe what we're doing and I don't want to fall off the four wheeler or accidentally spray one of us with cow pink eye medicine.

Sometimes, the cow is surprised by us and doesn't run at first. But after the first spritz she understands that "Hey, what's coming out of that spray bottle is not very comfortable in my eye" and then she runs in circles. And is chased by us on the four wheeler. Each cow/calf takes about 5 minutes to get treated with pink eye spray. 

(I hope you closed your eyes and imagined that four-wheeler cow chase.)

Then, last week, Dad had a genius idea. We would trick the cows into thinking we were just feeding them. Well, we would actually feed them some grain in several piles in the field. And then when they least expected it (while they cows were thinking "Mr. Farmer, this grain is delicious"), we'd sneak up and spray them.

Except some of the cows realized what we were doing, so we would pursue on foot. Some of the cows would run pretty far away, so Dad would crinkle the feed sack in his hand to make it sound like he had more feed, and would hide the spray bottle behind the feed sack. Then when the cow got close, he'd spray her.

It was hilarious. The pink eye is now clearing up.

I apologize for the lack of photos of the actual pursuit of cows. I was busy running with a bottle of pink eye spray. With my phone in the only logical place where it wouldn't fall out of a pocket into a cow patty - my sports bra.

Here's a photo of Dad and my brother spraying for pink eye in the barn lot on Monday night. Quite an adventure.

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