The Challenges of Ice: The Rocking A Ranch Journal

There’s never a dull day on the farm, especially not when livestock is involved. Last night when I went to check cow hay, I noticed a cow, mooing, on the small island we have in our pond.

I thought it was odd because, usually, the cows stay together. So I went to look.

The island is different each season. During the spring, it’s boggy and muddy. During the summers, it’s firm and solid. In the dead of winter, it’s a frozen chunk of sod surrounded by ice.

I don’t know why she decided to head out there or how she even made it to the island on the ice. But, as I got closer, it was clear she couldn’t make it back. There were slip marks on the ice, and she was scared to try and walk on the ice again.

My dad, Dale, was gone earlier in the day, so he called to see how the chores were going. I told him about the stuck cow and he geared up and came right over.

Together, we gathered dirt, manure, and scrap hay to make a sturdy path so she could keep her footing as she crossed the pond. We also took a rope halter to help guide her and some grain as a treat to coax her forward.

It was dark by the time we were ready to bring her across. Thankfully, we could use the tractor lights and truck lights so she could see the path we created was safe. My dad followed behind her to coax her forward while I shook the grain in front of her and walked on the path to demonstrate its safeness. She promptly came to the feed.

After her little treat, I followed her to make sure she made it back to the herd safely and without stranding herself on another slab of ice. Thankfully, she was okay.

It was a good day on the Rocking A.

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