We got a new tractor last week! There we were, just driving along, minding our own business, when suddenly, we spied this little fella parked enticingly in what we call “The For Sale Spot”. Everybody’s got one. It’s up front, near the street, and the item in question is usually posed, so you can always tell, even if you can’t see a sign. So when we saw this tractor nestled beneath the maples, hay spear raised several feet in order to show off his muscles, well, we knew.
It’s an International Harvester known in these parts as “Dickie Chapman’s Tractor”, though we bought it from Bennie Bruner. Our hay man, Jeff, recognized it right off. “That’s Dickie Chapman’s tractor!” he said with a grin. “I grew up driving that thing!” Tractors have personalities, I guess, and this one is obviously one-of-a-kind.
We’d actually only just gotten it home when Jeff arrived with our first load of winter hay. I know. The last winter is hardly even a memory yet, and here we are loading up for the next one. That’s farming for you; make hay while the sun shines! Dickie Chapman’s Tractor handled the job just fine, and David had a much easier time of it because (a) this tractor can lift and then move, unlike Katy Tractor, who had to lift and move at the same time, which is a bit challenging to work with, and (b) everything was going on in front of him, not behind, which is where Katy’s lifting gear was located. The hay is quite neatly lined up.
Last night, though, Jeff brought over two loads of hay on a borrowed HayLiner. That was a beautiful thing behold, I tell you. Seven bales line up single file in the bed, and when you get it where you want it, you pull a lever which releases the bed. The bed then tips over and dumps all the bales into a nice neat row. They’re all nestled up neat as a pin next to the first row we set the other day, and no tractor work was involved. We might have cheered from the sidelines.
And I promised you an update on Annabelle! Her milk has been back on line for over a week. It tastes fine and there was no milk-withholding on the drug we used to treat her. She’s still getting topical applications of tetracycline, and the hairy hoof wart isn’t gone, but it’s greatly reduced. I have penicillin to administer, which would hopefully finish knocking this infection out, but I haven’t given it yet. When I do, we’ll dose her for three days, and there will be an additional withholding period of three days (and possibly more) after the last dose is given.
My current thought is that hairy hoof wart is so hard to cure because we’re looking at it as an external problem and treating it only topically, rather that looking at it as an internal infection with an external manifestation. But what do I know. I’m just a small time farmer with a cow I can’t afford to lose. 🙂
Here’s a paper to read, if you should find yourself interested. It comes from the University of Illinois Extension. Hairy Heel Wart