Tara and Easter

Tara and Easter
"Aw, mom"

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

How to Clean a Cow

Step 1:  This is the most important.  You must have a reason to clean your cow because there is quite a bit of work involved as cows and cleanliness are natural enemies.  Perhaps you think your cow smells bad or lacks personal hygiene.  Perhaps you are selling your home and want only really shiny animals grazing in your pastures.  Or, like us, maybe you signed up to bring ten clean cows to the fair in two and half weeks. 

Step 2:  Have a friend bring a grooming chute and a blower to your place (unless you happen to own these cow grooming items yourself).  This contraption is actually quite simple.  It has a floor, two side bars and a simple head catch in the front with a ring to tie your cow's halter to.  The blower is essentially a reverse vacuum with a long hose.  It's used to blow against the cow's hair to dislodge any sand or grit left behind after they're bathed and dried.  Also essential is a friend that knows exactly which wild hairs on your cow would be considered offensive and which may stay put.

Step 3:  Wet your cow slowly, beginning with her hooves and moving upwards so you don't shock with a sudden spray of ice cold water.  Fortunately for our cows, Extreme Makeover Cow Edition was held not only on a warm day, but the well water itself was warm.  CAUTION:  Do not spray your cow's face.  She will not like it and bad things could happen (she could flip the chute by suddenly throwing her weight backwards).

Step 4:  Find a warm, sunny place to tie your cow to dry.  Make sure there is clean, thick bedding beneath her or she will do everything in her bovine power to dirty herself. 

Step 5:  Once she is dry, she gets the blower treatment.  I was quite surprised how well our cows tolerated this.  They stood quietly while their hair was blown against the grain.  Maybe it feels good, like a ride in a convertible along a beach road.

Step 6:  The clippers.  By now, your cow has patiently stood in the grooming chute twice and tolerated very unnatural things.  She has probably had it with you and your treats and would like to go some place grassy and shady to rest and chew cud in peace.  So what happens next is an affront to all of cowdom.  A ticklish, vibrating, metal device, which sounds remarkably like a rattling snake or angry hornet, is moved all around her shoulders, belly, and then, her face.  Nope, not happening.  We tried that evil plot against Tina and she put her hoof down.  So she, along with all of her bovine comrades, will go to the fair cleaned up, wild offending hairs clipped, and their faces shaggy, thankyouverymuch.