Adventures with Elli the Fearless

Farmer Madison and Elli the Fearless begin the day.

It started out like any other day. My mom telling me to take Elli outside so she could get rid of her energy.  She has to be supervised because she is extremely adventurous and not scared of anything.  Like any other day, I had farm work to do. So... Elli ended up "playing" at the barn.  We began our Adventures with a
four-wheeler ride to check the cows.  It was cold!!  Elli was holding me from behind and the ground was rough.  She told me "Madi, if I fly off this four wheeler your phone and your knife go too!!" Basically all the things that are important to me! So, I slowed down.  During our routine check we had a surprise.  Dreamie, a show heifer from 2011, had a big surprise waiting for us!  She had a little (big for a first calf) 70 lb heifer waiting on us to tag! Dreamie was the very first animal that I bred artificially.  Success!!! I not only got her bred on the first try but I also got a heifer!  Elli got out a loved on the calf and Dreamie came RUNNING back, big floppy ears going, mooing like crazy and Elli stood there. Told you, she is fearless! Once Dreamie was back with her calf, we left to go put new mineral tubs out for the cows.

      Next on our long to-do list was getting this very rambunctious steer out of one field into the one where he belonged, with his mother! I was getting him out for two reasons: he was annoying and he needed his mothers milk! I had tried before when I was alone but he basically would run circles around me.  This time I had help! Elli the Fearless. He was in a field with 5 bigger heifers.  One of them was red.  Elli took quite the liking to the red heifer and named her Valentine.  When we got to the spot to start driving them to the barn Elli and I split up.  Elli was in charge of keeping them moving and I had to keep them together! One of the heifers is a monster, once she turned and Elli kept walking and said with bundles of confidence "GO to the barn".  They obeyed Elli the Fearless! Then there was an unexpected turn.  The calf we needed to get up ran circles around us both.  He ran straight at Elli and big sister mode kicked in.  I darted to her but she stood her ground making him turn away from her! That silly thing got away..... Again.   On the agenda next was a vet visit.  We had an older cow get down.  He was there to address the situation.  She ended up getting an IV.  When the vet left I still had chores to do, but Elli had other intentions.  She had to see to her restaurant.  The Hay restaurant!   While Elli was waitressing I was unloading feed.   I tried to persuade her to help by telling her she could use my knife! She wants one badly.

It was finally five o'clock. Feeding time.  Feeding required a lot of separating. During the day I let two baby heifers I am weaning, Gracie and her calf out into a lot to exercise.  Separating them back into their pens is easier said than done, but with Elli the Fearless it was possible!  Elli was supposed to get on the side of them and push them towards me.  She was standing in thick sticky mud.  She picked one foot up, set it down, picked up the other, set it down. And...then she was barefoot.  I was caught in this mud a couple weeks ago but it only took one of my boots.  It took BOTH of hers!!!! It was so funny,  however, I still had a lot of feeding to do so we couldn't leave the barn yet.  Her feet were covered in mud so while I finished my chores we wrapped her feet in feed sacks.  I was seriously close to letting her drive herself home on the Kabota,  but last time she drove she ran into a tree!!  I took her back home myself and when we walked in the door mom instinctively said, "Elli, get in the bath!".  Then she turned around and saw Elli's feet and we all burst out laughing.  Never a dull moment around here. What a great way to end the day!


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