Paul was on his way home yesterday evening and decided to stop by Ms. Melman and Nugget. While he was there, he heard a screech and a big crash. A woman had lost control of her SUV and plowed into the fence, taking out 45' of T-posts, field fencing and a small tree before the vehicle finally stopped by wrapping it's front end around a utility pole.
Paul jumped in the car, drove up to the accident and pryed open the passenger side door and helped her out. She wasn't badly injured, but did get banged up by the airbag. She was lucky.
As were Ms. Melman and Nugget, as their favorite spot lately has been directly in front of the persimmon tree; which just missed being taken out by the vehicle by no more than ten feet. They were in the lower pasture at that moment and missed the whole thing.
After the sherrif, wrecker, husband of the lady and utility company finally left, Paul was left with figuring how to mend the fence and keep the equines contained before daylight vanished.
The pasture is separated in three sections; upper (where the wreck occured), lower (where there is an arena) and a smaller holding pen right up against the barn. Paul fenced off the upper from lower pasture and put Ms. Melman and Nugget in the lower pasture, gave them some grain to keep them occupied for a while and came back home.
Around 9 o'clock, one of our neighbors up the road drove to the house to say that he saw Nugget out of the pasture. So he and Paul rounded him up and Paul went back to work trying to find out where the little bugger made his escape. As in his usual fashion, Nugget managed to find a low spot in the field fence and nosed under it and pushed his way out of the lower pasture into the upper pasture and out to "freedom". Although I wonder what the heak he was thinking as there isn't much to do in the dark and the closest bar and grill is over ten miles away.
I called Grandma for some "emergency" babysitting services and went to help Paul mend the fence and reinforce the holding pen by the barn with cattle panels. More grain, some fresh hay and promises that they would be out of the small enclosure in the morning and we left for the night.
|Fence, what fence? Notice the utility pole on the ground.|
We were back out there this morning and finished up mending up the broken fenceline with more cattle panels. Ms. Melman and Nugget were released from captivity and everyone lived happily ever after. The end.
So, what is the moral of this story? Well, there are several.
Even though you may have secure fencing one minute, it only takes a second for it to become un-secure. Do you have extra fencing materials on site to mend a breach in your fence? We were fortunate to have extra cattle panels for just this reason.
If you have to take a vehicle to round up your animals, do you have a halter & lead rope (and some grain for enticing escapee) to catch them?
Do you have a separate holding pen for your animals in case of an emergency or other situation that would require them to be secure? And, is that pen secure?
Do your neighbors have your phone number to alert you to any problems with your livestock or their fencing?
And as Paul mentioned after the fact, if you are in the position to assist in a accident, make sure you know of any potential hazards before trying to assist the vicitm. After he helped the lady out of the vehicle, he realized that the phone line that was downed and laying on the vehicle was laying over an electric line just above. He didn't notice this until after they were out of the SUV. It could have just as easily been a live electric line. Can you say "Zap"?
So everyone is safe and secure. Well, at least last time I checked.