Paul came home last night and listened to me pour all of the wisdom of Julie out of my mouth and into his ears. We decided to try Bridgit's new grain supplementation that night, in the dark, since we figure Paul will be home after dark every single night from until summer. Why wait?
Could it be because we didn't think the plan through very well?
See, Bridgit was at the hay feeder while everyone else laid around chewing cud. It seemed like the perfect opportunity. After debating for several minutes on where to grain her, we decided to just open the gate from the paddock to the, um, back yard. Yep. Our back yard with the Clampett fence and the dog poo and the poor lighting. Ahem.
He teased her a few feet at a time with a handful of fresh hay and then the bucket of grain, while Annabel attempted to continue nursing, her cute little behind to us. Once Bridgit caught full sight of the grain, she was through the gate in no time. Annabel repositioned herself to finish nursing, but once she was done and caught site of her new strange surroundings, you could almost see the "WHEE!!" in her eyes as she ran and jumped and bucked and kicked in excitement. T-Bone ratted us out as he came crying over to the gate wondering why Annabel was having so much fun and he wasn't, so in no time we had bossy Sheila and her boyfriend crowding over. Sheila was M-A-D and let us know it with her constant mooing and stretching and pacing.
We smuggly congratulated ourselves on successfully graining Bridgit and getting her and her calf into the yard safely before the others noticed. But how to get her back into the paddock? For one thing, Sheila, T-Bone and Tabor were all right there on the other side of the gate (which swings into the back yard, incidentally), all trying to get on our side. More urgently, Bridgit didn't WANT to go back! She gleefully took off, eating our lawn, and didn't want to turn around toward the gate! Annabel was happily cruising around, too, and couldn't be caught. Oh, dear.
I finally threw the rope halter to Paul so he could rope Bridgit's horns and lead her in while I attempted to keep Sheila and Tabor occupied at the far corner behind the garden shed with a tiny bit of grain in a bucket. It wasn't perfect, but he did finally lead her back in. Annabel, though, wasn't keen on being caught; although she wanted her mama, she wasn't done having fun yet! We finally caught her and shoved her through.
My Friday phone call to our Conservation District rep was finally returned this morning, and after making him laugh with our mad tale from last night, he agreed to stop by today to give some guidance on how best to separate Bridgit from the others, whether by temporary electric fencing, adding a gate to the bare garden and graining her there, or what. I'm hoping he comes by today...if he doesn't, I don't know what we'll do tonight!!