7 scary scenarios to spook the toughest farmer
Halloween (October 31) is a scary, spooky time of the year when a lot of people enjoy getting (and giving) a good fright.
Here at AgriLand we realise that farmers are hardy folk who are not easily scared and, more likely than not, have no time to take thrills from witches, ghosts and mad axemen that are typically portrayed at this time of year.
So, what is it that makes farmers jump and go pale from fright? Here are seven scary situations which will make even the toughest farmer think twice and take a step back…
1. Livestock on the main road
You get a call in the middle of the night and you give a yelp. The family wonders what’s wrong with you at this hour when you break the news to them… Your sheep are loose across the main road! They need to be rounded up and brought back at once!
Nothing gets the adrenaline going quite like such a call – ideally at about 1:00am too.
2. Antibiotics in the bulk tank
This terrifying scenario is what all dairy farmers dread – a moment of lapsed concentration or a second of absentmindedness can lead to formidable (and expensive) consequences.
Did the milk from that cow being treated for mastitis make its way into the bulk tank? Will the entire tank have to be dumped now if it’s contaminated?
The few minutes it takes to test tank samples for the presence of antibiotics easily beats the most hair-raising horror for suspense and fear!
3. The neighbour’s bull loose with the heifers
You go out to the field to check your lovely continental heifers that you only bought the other day and what do you see? A flash of white (and black) more unsettling than a ghost – the neighbour’s scrawny dairy bull having the time of his life with your good livestock!
Then comes the guessing game that’s a slow-burner… Are they in calf? Will you be looking at a miserable Jersey calf next year? The thought alone is enough to put the blood pressure skyrocketing.
4. The tractor gives bother
You hop up into the cab of the tractor, same as any other day, and turn the key when you hear it – scarier than a screaming banshee, the engine stutters and dies.
What could be wrong with it? You spent a fortune getting it fixed last time; what on earth could be gone now? Which leads to…
5. The mechanic’s bill afterwards
Once the mechanic comes out, pops the bonnet and shakes his head, you know the news is ominous. You can’t look so you leave him at it and return when he’s finished. He hands you the bill and you look down.
Your throat goes dry. Enough said.
You get the letter in the post which you never wanted to see…notice of an upcoming inspection! Be it for the Department of Agriculture, Bord Bia or whoever, it’s never a pleasant experience to have your holding under scrutiny.
Whether the place is shining or you’ve a “big job” ahead of you prior to “D-Day”, all farmers know the looming sense of dread as the inspector drives into the yard.
It only really leaves when the official is firmly down the road again and you can start to breathe easy once more.
7. A cow lying on her side
A sight to really put shivers up your spine… You’re looking over at your livestock from the edge of the field when you see one stretched out flat on her side motionless.
Is she alright? Or is she dead? You shout at her and wait…then she lifts her head and looks over at you. The relief!