Hello folks! I hope this post finds everyone well. A couple of strange things happened this evening. If I take the cows to the back pasture I go back and get them before it gets dark. Normally when I call them they come but sometimes I have to whack a stick on a tree limb. This evening that did not happen. One of the cows was next to the back fence but most of them were by the gate they were supposed to go through. Instead of the other cow coming to the gate, the rest of the cows where she was. Then they started walking the fence in the wrong direction. So, I tagged along in case they knew something I didn’t. Well, you never know.
As it turned out they were just being weird. Once I got them turned around, instead of going toward the gate they went to the north end of the pasture. So, I went around the back side of the pond to get them headed in the right direction.
Well, when I got to the cows they could apparently sense I was a little perturbed by their behavior. One of the cows, I think maybe Fatty, was 3-4 feet from me and she looked at me and said, “WAIT!” She reached down and picked up an Osage Orange ball. Well, here we call them hedge apples… Anyway, I thought she lost her mind! It was huge and she was acting like a dog wanting to play fetch or something. Well, it fell out of her mouth and she picked it up again. It fell out of her mouth again and it landed at my feet. She picked up another one and it also fell out. She didn’t give up, though, and found one that was smaller. This one went all the way to the back part of her mouth.
Now, although I was anxious to get the cows to the front pasture because it was getting dark, I was kind of concerned about this cow with a hedge ball in the back of her mouth. She just stood there looking at me, trying to chew this big ball in her mouth. She stood there, slobber running out of her mouth, attempting to chew this thing up. I began to wonder if she was choking… What if she did choke? How in the world would I perform a Heimlich maneuver on a HUGE cow?
FINALLY, she made progress and the hedge apple started breaking up. I stood there and watched this crazy cow eat a hedge apple until I knew she was going to be OK.
For the most part, cows seem to be pretty particular about what they eat and a cow as old as this one should have plenty of experience. I wasn’t too worried about it being harmful but I checked online anyway. Apparently, cows and other livestock have died from Osage Orange. Not because it is toxic, but because it can lodge in their digestive track if they try to swallow it whole…
Cows, like us, use their molars to chew, so she had to have the fruit in the back of her mouth. With all their slimy saliva, it could have easily slipped down her throat…
After that experience, I wished I had the camera with me so I could have taken a video. Almost always when I don’t take the camera I see something I would have liked to have a photo or video of. In all my years around cows, I have never seen one eat an Osage Orange fruit. I have seen them pick them up but they always spit it out.
This experience reminds me of one of the Old English Game hens that got the front of its top bill stuck inside of its lower bill. She came out of the chicken house and walked up to me like she was saying, “Ummm….” I could tell she looked a little off, but in a few seconds, I didn’t get a good look at her. She ran off and I had to chase her down. I picked her up and saw her predicament. I took her to the back porch and sat down with her trying to figure how I was going to get her beak unstuck. Then she shook her head and it popped out. Again, it would have made a very interesting and memorable photo… One of those YouTube moments that no one would ever believe could happen.
How many photos have you missed?
Here I am wondering what to post about this winter. You just never know…
Until next time… Stay positive, be safe, stay warm (or cool), and GET DIRTY!