It’s no secret to anyone who knows me, I HATE mice and all other rodents for that matter. It’s pretty common to see a mouse here and there on a farm. I’ve at least gotten to the point I can stifle my screams when I see one. It would be pretty embarrassing to have a hired man come running while I’m screaming my head off because I’ve seen a mouse. Luckily that hasn’t happened!
On a bad day I might see several mice, sometimes all at once and sometimes in different places. Today I was greeted by two mice right as I opened the door of one side of the barn. They quickly scampered from a chunk of hay into a hole under the feed bunk. I didn’t scream, but I did keep my eyes open while I was feeding the calves in that side of the barn. I didn’t see the two again, thank goodness. I finished in that side and headed to the next. I have to walk in the feed bunks of this barn to feed the hay. It’s either walk in the bunk or walk through the pen. Walking in the bunk is much easier than trying to get around 40 calves who are trying to eat the hay you’re carrying. Anyway, I had hay down in about half the bunk. I was coming back with another armful of hay and dang near stepped on a big, fat, brown mouse! This time I did scream because the mouse didn’t run, it just sat there. Finally I just threw my hay on it and kept going with chores. Who knows if it’s still there!
I finished feeding the calves in that barn and noticed a heifer wandering around as I was headed to put my feed cart away. I called the farmer and started pushing up feed. The farmer got there and we started walking the heifer back to her pen. Unfortunately it’s pretty icy everywhere right now. She slipped on the ice when she was almost at the gate. She tried getting up, but soon decided there was no point when it was so icy. The farmer and I both tried to help, but to no avail. The farmer left me to watch her while he got a bag of barn lime. We spread that out around her to help give her some traction on the ice, but she still wouldn’t try getting up. I left to get the bobcat and the farmer left to get a shot for her. She was coughing and had a runny nose, so better safe than sorry. By the time I was coming back with the bobcat, the farmer had the heifer back to her pen. He said when he gave her the shot she stood up. I guess I would’ve too if someone was sticking me with a needle.
So she’s back in her pen and hopefully not coughing anymore. Nothing like three mice and a heifer to shake up the routine.