We’ve recently taken to hiring a Bobcat to clean out the Dairy Complex pens. Prior to that, it was taking an average of five days – working almost constantly- to clean out the deep-littered beds every six weeks; which when added to cleaning out the pens in the Kidding Shed (with the Playpen alone, taking an average of another three days) it meant that almost all of poor Tony’s time at home has been spend wielding a muck fork. Subsequently, other important jobs & repairs have slipped by the wayside….with the result that in places things started looking a little, errrmm, tired (not to mention our exhausted & unwell selves!).
However the lick of paint the barns so badly need has inevitably been delayed not through intent but owing to the distinct lack of summer weather to allow anything sufficient time to dry; & having fat-arsed Shetland ponies who scratch their ample behinds so vigorously that they knock not only nest boxes from even the sturdiest poultry shed but can crumple centuries’-strong drystone walls, & you can apppreciate the additional challenges we’re up against.
Hence, the hire of the Bobcat. Well, not so much a Bobcat, as a Bobkitten…as it really is the dinkiest version imaginable, just right for getting into tight corners & squeezing into the narrow doorway of the Playpen. Not that – as you can probably guess, with us – it ever got that far….*sigh*
Having taken delivery of said machine, after an essential lesson regarding the basic controls we were let loose with the gorgeous, growling little beastie. Having trundled it off the trailer I left a distinctly ailing Tony alone to cheer himself up, playing with his “big boys’ toy” whilst I fixed us a much-needed cuppa.
The growl of the engine abruptly silenced, I hurried out to investigate. There stood Tony, a travesty of his already woeful self; drenched from top-to-toe in hydraulic fluid as a pipe fitting had abruptly sheared & burst loose whilst he’d been examining the bucket mechanism, the resultant fountain spurting everywhere. Thankfully the only damage was to Tony’s clothing; however the use of the Bobcat was lost for the majority of the day, whilst trying to sort out a repair.
At least with the sunshine, the Milkforce enjoyed their day frolicking in green pastures; even if Watsonia did manage to tear the skin protecting her nicely-healing abcess, to reveal the hideous, yellowed sore in all its’ gory glory which regardless of our already mutually fragile state, still required swift treatment.
Oh, the path of true farming seldom does run smooth! Erm – egg custard, anyone…?
Ah. I thought not.