I've often heard people discuss "fence rows" and that "riding the fence line" was just one of those things you do when you have a farm. Now I get it.
It's was 6am and the house phone rang. That never happens. The house phone is a number we don't give out and honestly it's there so I can fax stuff when I need to. The dreaded call came letting us know "your cow is out of the fence".
So we, of course, imagined the worst. We just knew she was standing in the middle of the road at dawn just begging someone to top the hill and hit her. She wasn't. She was in my in-laws yard foraging and leaving a trail of fertilizer everywhere she went. The problem arose when she discovered and devoured the 30 pounds of feed sitting on the carport waiting to be fed to the hogs the next morning.
Poor Ella got what they call the "scours". Of course we didn't realize this until she was actually in the throes of it. She developed a severe case of diarrhea and began getting dehydrated (producing very little milk). Us being good cow parents, pulled out the book we always consult, "The Family Cow" and hit the chapter on illness full throttle. We started reading about "overeating disease" and how that can cause all manner of life-threatening maladies and go ahead and take your cow to the butcher to at least salvage the meat. At that point I was freaking out, that our beloved Ella, our gorgeous designer cow, was about to become spaghetti sauce and taco meat.
With much drama, I was sent flying to Tractor Supply to "get something for her", but no clue what. Lesson learned, do not put the life of your cow in the hands of retail sales clerk. They don't know squat, nor do they care.
Meanwhile back on Toy Ridge, George and his daddy were plotting to give her a fist sized pill. My question was "what's it supposed to treat?" The answer I got, "don't know, it's something Youngblood got from the feed store." Again I ask "what's the package say?" The answer "it's not in a package, it's in an old seed sack." You do not want to know how the rest of that conversation went! #@!&$#
Long story made even longer, Ella survived by simply being put on a full hay diet and nothing else for a few days. In the end, we thank God and Google for saving Ella from "overeating disease". - Melissa