Preg-checking Repulsion

Mr. Rancher had a few cows and calves to move to a new pasture today and Miss Henley has been dying to go with him and ride her horse so she got to spend most of the day with Daddy.  I joined them around noon and helped vaccinate and brand the calves.  Just before loading the animals on the trailers for transport Ty re-checked three of the cows without calves to see how far along their pregnancies were.  For any of you who are not familiar with livestock or how a cow is checked for gestational information, you may be disgusted by what is about to follow.

Trayce and Ty secured the cows, one by one, in the chute and Ty proceeded to insert his gloved-to-the-shoulder-arm into the cows’ rectum and press downward onto each one’s uterus to feel the size of the calf.  Often cow-poop has to be pulled out of the rectum before the rancher or veterinarian can really feel the uterus.

Yes, gross, I know.  I’ve become acclimated to the grossness of agriculture in the past four years.  My beautiful daughter, however, has not had quite as much experience with doctoring bovines as I have.  Today was her first experience with preg-checking, and it is very safe to say that she was completely horrified by what her dad was doing.  She stood next to me, holding my hand, little mouth slightly ajar, eyes darting back and forth between Ty’s hand up a cow’s butt and me.  I explained to her that Ty was just checking to see if the cow had a baby calf in her tummy.  Her look of horror turned to one of pure repugnance and I realized that she was equating what Ty was doing with what the doctor must do to check my tummy for a baby.  I quickly told her that that is not at all how the doctor checks on her baby sister.

Can you even imagine?  It’s as if my whole body tensed with even the very suggestion of such an undignified act, my body’s very physical was of saying “Oh H*** no!”  It is far worse watching preg-checking when one is actually pregnant one’s self.

The best part of this whole experience was listening to Henley’s bedtime prayers wherein she asked Heavenly Father to bless those cows that “daddy grabbed the poop from their tails.”  She also reminded me to bless those cows that “daddy pulled the poop out of their bums” during our family prayer.  Preg-checking made a big impression on her little mind.  I can’t wait to hear from her nursery leaders at church on Sunday–she is quite the story-teller and always has a funny story (usually ranch related) to share with her class of 18 mos. to 3 year olds and their two teachers.

I’m not sure if her relationship with her dad will ever be the same though.  I’ve never seen her look so disgusted in her 2.5 years.

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