Milk Fever and Cow Lifting.
"Res, I've got a cow down!"
My friend Leonard said,
"Show me, my friend!" said I,
And followed where he led.
Big black and white Friesian
Fallen and wedged quite tight
Behind the feeding troughs
And it was coming on for night!
"Milk fever?" I asked quietly
So as not to fright the cow
"Have you got the calcium in 'er?"
"Yes, I've just done it now!"
"Did you stick it in the milk vein?"
"No, just under the skin!"
"Damn, it'll take forever,
Milk vein's the place to whack it in!"
Though it wasn't Leonard's fault
But it really was a pain
With half a ton of cow on top
You couldn't reach the vein!
"Leonard we'll have to lift 'er,
But there isn't any space,
What have you got in the lifting way
That we can get into this place?"
"Well, I've got a pin-bone clamp,
That I picked up one time,
But nothing in the lifting way
That we can bring on line!"
"Come Leonard, I've seen scaffold poles
Out there in the scrap,
And sheave blocks and grain hoists
We can make something out of that!"
So we scat a hole up through the floor
Of the granary upstairs,
And built a sheer-legs out of poles
And collected pulley wheels in pairs.
Some rope from the bale trailer,
Threaded through the wheels
And we had a block and tackle
With a four to one lift deal!
So clamp clamped on the pin-bones
And filled with more than hope,,
Two husky sons and I began
To pull down on that rope!
"Oh Res, she's lifting nicely!"
Our Leonard he did say,
But her arse came up and her chin stayed down,
And then she stayed that way!
"No good, no good, no good!" I cried,
"Lower her down once more!
Gently now, don't let her drop!"
And we lowered her to the floor!
"We need another sheer-legs,
We need more rope and blocks,
Send a son to fetch back mine,
The one I use for moving rocks!"
So we built another sheer-legs,
Another hole in the granary floor
We made a sling for under her chest
And we start to lift her more!
This time she came up even
And we held her there a-while
But she wouldn't take her own weight
Not by a country mile.
"We need to massage her legs
To get some feeling back
But there just isn't room to work,
We'll have to lay her back!"
"No! No!" I said, "Let's tie her off,
Let's make a careful plan,
Let's cut some rollers and a door,
To lay her back upon!"
This we did, we cut some pipes,
We found a fine stout door
And arranged them underneath
Before we lowered her to the floor.
Now inch by inch we dragged her
Backwards on her door,
Until she popped, just like a cork
Onto the loose-box floor.
Ah now we would have room to work,
We let her rest just then.
No rest for us, we had to do
The whole job over again!
Two more holes up through the ceiling
Arrange the sheer-legs and the rope
The clamp, the sling, the blocks and all,
And start again with hope!
This time we raised her neatly
We were getting good by now,
We tied her off just dangling there,
And went to work on the cow.
We massaged each leg carefully,
She really did look sick,
We lifted them and flexed their joints
She was too tired to kick.
We built a wall of straw bales
To hold her up a while
And gradually slacked off the ropes
You should've seen Old Leonard smile.
We were also smiling
As we saw her take her weight
Another cow saved once more
From the Knacker-man's fate.
And in the lantern light we sat
Mrs L bought tea and scones,
Cow suckled calf, and Len and me
Were weary to our bones.
But satisfied and well pleased
With our labour on that day,
We'd earned a piece of heaven
As we went upon our way
Words Copyright © Res JFB 15th July 2008
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