Y’all remember Ellie, yes? Total Eclipse? Ellie, who our logo is based after? Ellie, the sweetest mamma ever? Well, Ellie took a trip back to Oklahoma last week to be back with her original herd. For some reason, she was never able to stay pregnant up here on the farm. We think it has to do with the climate… her beautiful black coat is shiny and gorgeous, but it never thickened up in the winters. I think her body spent a lot of time protecting the coat and that left little energy for calving and nursing.
We could have gone the technology route and had testing done, surrogate moms, saving eggs, all that crazy stuff… but the reality is, she wanted to go back home. So, we let her. Mary Kathryn (that’s me, for those of you not paying attention) was very sad. I miss her. She was my perfect cow. I loved everything about her.
In honor of Ellie, I’d like to share a few pictures that feature her. Curt and our friend Tom put ina water-er (you heard me) a couple weeks ago, which has changed Curt’s life.
You think I exaggerate, but I do not. This time.
Ok, so we start her with the finished project. Here’s Ellie mosey-ing on over for a drink from the new-fangled water-thingy. She’s impressed. Why? Because she used to have to swim around in the big ol’ trough below.
Here’s (above) the original system: a large water trough that we would refill once or twice a week. The orange pump is freeze-proof, meaning it will still shoot water even in Michigan Winters. I love technology. That trough would be awful hard to fill running buckets from my kitchen sink, ya hear me? We’d fill the trough up maybe twice a week, but we’d always forget to turn the water off… and that would make a pool for th cows. Our cows don’t like to swim. AND, in the winter, the water would freeze over and Curt would have to chip through it every morning. Boooo.
Here are Tom and Curt pouring a small concrete slab for the water-er. This will keep the area around it from becoming a swamp. Cows are not neat drinkers.
Rylie is a big helper. She likes to be involved. She demands to be involved.
You have to screw the water-er down so the big ol’ cows don’t push it off its base. We have a drill that goes through concrete. Good to know.
Here’s Curt hooking up the hoses. Under that silver tray is a pipe that feeds back out to the orange pump you saw earlier. That’s where the water comes from. It’s not magic. I may have thought it was magic at first.
And here’s the water coming through. Nice and clean. No more swimming through algae and hay to get a drink! No more freezing in the winter, thanks to an electrical piece that warmes the base so it doesn’t form ice! Genius! Exclamation point! Half the water-er is on the Longhorn Lane side and half is on the Calf Pen side… so this water-er can water 2 pastures at once. Again, magic.
And here are the ladies all lined up for their drink. They’re so cute. That’s Ellie in front and then Miss Bonnie staring at you. All 20 cows (6 babies this year!) line up at the same time every day in the same order to eat and get drinks. They’re a bit habitual.
Love you, Ellie. Hope you’re happy back home. Write soon.
What’s YOUR favorite magical appliance?