Though their stories contain sad chapters, Lulu and Buttercup are very happy cows. With a small herd of cattle, they share a beautiful pasture at Pasado’s Safe Haven, a not-for-profit animal rescue and rehab center in Monroe, Washington. Once neglected and in danger, they now enjoy impeccable care from the team at Pasado’s. They have fresh water, pasture, feed, veterinary attention, and plenty of love.
Lulu, Buttercup, and their herd mates have plenty of beautiful acreage to play, eat grass, and just be cows. A couple of times each day they amble into a smaller paddock to enjoy hay, pets from their favorite humans, and any needed veterinary care. Recently the Pasado’s team became concerned that this area was deteriorating due to Pacific Northwest weather. Over time, hard hooves trampled the soft, wet ground into quite a soupy mess. But this spring, fortune smiled on the herd: Pasado’s reached out to Lighthoof Equine, who volunteered to turn their muddy area into a clean and dry paddock.
On a drizzly day in April, we showed up at the Safe Haven with a donation of 30 Lighthoof panels, some stakes, and our favorite muck boots. We were met by a mountain of gravel and a team of Pasado’s staff and volunteers ready to get to work!
We began by preparing the 74’ x 24’ area, sloping the ground slightly at the perimeter to prevent panel edges from protruding. We also evened the terrain a bit with rakes. The we covered the entire area with landscaping cloth to prevent the gravel from sinking into the wet mud.
Next we laid a few panels at a time, including some fun tug-of-war games to stretch the accordion-like cells. We temporarily staked the panels into the ground so they’d hold shape for a few minutes while we dumped and spread the gravel into and over the panels.
A generous animal lover had donated 57 yards of ⅜” minus crushed gravel just for Lulu, Buttercup, and their friends. This gravel filled the Lighthoof cells, combining to create footing tough enough to support Pasado’s huge tractor but giving enough to be comfortable for the cows.
Once all the panels were laid and the gravel was poured and raked, the Pasado’s team used their vibrating plate compactor to settle the gravel and compress the footing. The huge area was now ready for happy hooves! The even, mud-free, puddle-free surface had become a clean paddock where the vet can easily and safely provide care and the cows can enjoy food and affection.
The Pasado’s staff and the remarkable volunteers put in a full day of cheerful work. A few sunbreaks shed some light on our efforts. But it was the curious cows watching our progress that truly brightened our day. Some even provided occasional licks to volunteers, perhaps a thank you for the effort.
It was so rewarding giving a bit of time and a trunkload of panels to improve the lives of these sweet creatures!
We’d like to extend our enthusiastic thanks to the volunteers and Pasado’s staff who helped create a happy, dry paddock for Buttercup, Lulu, and friends. Learn more about the remarkable work that Pasado's Safe Haven does for animals... and learn how you can help too!
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