Sunday, April 22, 2012
Last week we had a cow with an enlarged teat (yes, I used that word in a sentence). We researched and researched. The only thing we found was mastitis (another new word). So...we gave her a shot of antibiotic. We watched and she got worse. We were trying to decide when to call a vet and which vet to call. So, over breakfast we decided to see how she was today and call the vet in the morning if we saw no improvement....I was feeling very, very low about the whole farm situation.....
about thirty minutes later my brother called saying, "I know what is wrong with your big teat cow. (got to love a brother). (I am thinking she died, but he is laughing) She had a baby last night." Well,,,,relieved it was just having a baby; embarressed about being so ignorant.
Ways starting a farm is like having your first baby:
1) you quickly figure out you have no clue.
2) your dog is of little help.
3) just when you think you can't do the nasty stuff any longer, they give you a smile.
Sunday, March 25, 2012
"Just don't blink"
My Nanny Martin lived to be 82, and for the last 30 years of her life she would say, "The older you get the quicker time flies." Well, to a young child who believed summers lasted forever, Christmas never would come, and the flying monkeys in the "Wizard of Oz" traveled for hours this was nonsense. Now 50 years later I am afraid I know what she meant. A year ago I bought my first calf. He was supposed to be here a few months, sold, and make me some money.....
I guess I blinked; the calf is still here, he has been registered and named. I have in one year completely changed my idea of cattle raising. I now have two bulls, twenty-six girls, and am waiting on summer and fall babies to be born.
Questions you ask when you have passed the time flies zone:
1) Is it time for school to start back already?
2) Isn't Jake still considered a puppy? A three year old puppy maybe.
3) Didn't they used to show the "Wizard of Oz" just once a year?
Saturday, February 25, 2012
An Unknown Talent
Jake has proven he can do more than sleep, eat, chase cows, and disguise his scent with cow pooh. He can predict bad weather. Yesterday we were having heavy rain and some rumbling of thunder, but nothing we were really concerned with. Suddenly Jake went to the door giving us his "I am waiting for you to open the door now" look. We did as he requested. He went onto the porch sniffed the air, growled, ran back into the house and hid under the table. We chalked this up to just being Jake. Within a few minutes the wind and hail began. We turned on the weather channel to find we were under a tornado watch. Way to go Jake!
1) this has been the hottest winter ever (or it could be menopause)
2) when Jake goes under the table, go with him
3) ignorance is not bliss
Thursday, February 23, 2012
Yes, Virginia, there is such a thing as too much help.
Today while doing some cleaning around the fences Bob had "all the help he could stand".
The cows just knew he did not know what he was doing. They formed a committee to direct the procedure. Several stood by the fence to show him where to work, one butted the tractor, and the others stomped down the fresh dirt. Of course standing by the fence was really standing in the way, butting the tractor was foolish, and stomping the new dirt just made mud.
Bob's lessons learned from this:
1) don't let the cows form a committee
2) work was involved so Jake left early
3) work when the cows are in another pasture
Wednesday, February 8, 2012
Somethings You Never Forget
36 years ago our older son, then two years old, came running into the house screaming, "Daddy, Daddy come quick, there's a SLUT on the front porch". Well, two things happened that day; Bob broke the sound barrier running to the front porch and slugs became forever known as sluts in our house.
So, imagine my joy when sluts invaded my strawberry patch and the dog food bowl. Research has again become my friend. I found three cures for sluts on the Internet. Cure #1 - commercial slut repellent (just too boring). Cure #2 - beer (sluts just love beer and will fall in and drown; gives new meaning to drowning your sorrows in beer). Cure #3 - corn meal (seems sluts love corn meal as much as they love beer; problem is they can not digest it). Decisions, decisions??
Why I chose corn meal:
1) it is cheaper than beer
2) Jake can not get drunk on corn meal
3) I won't be offended when the store does not ID me for purchasing it
Saturday, February 4, 2012
Some girls have no fear...
I am not sure who is the bravest girl, the one holding the feed or the one coming close enough to eat it. We had some help yesterday with the cow feeding chore. We were busy measuring the feed, calling the cows, and never realized our three year old granddaughter thought cows were fed by hand. As soon as we sat the buckets of feed down she reached in, grabbed a hand full of feed and put her hand through the gate.
My cow, #71, of course was the first to try eating from Mallory's hand. By the look on Mal's face I know she feels the same about a cow's tongue as I do; a cross between a cat's tongue and a slug. (rough and slimy)
Reasons girls have no fear:
1) they are born that way
2) Jake has our back
3) we never listen when people tell us no
Monday, January 30, 2012
Babies Daddy, our bull, is celebrating his first birthday. I seem to be more excited about it than he is. I even offered to bake a cake, but Bob said that was a little over the line. We have changed the business plan a little, again. Now we are just buying yearlings and letting Babies Daddy be the babies' daddy. I am now learning a lot about breeding cows. (oh joy)
Things I NEVER thought I would record on a calendar:
1) a cows monthly cycle
2) Jake's babysitters schedule
3) the days when I think the bull got lucky (dear Lord help me)
Thursday, January 26, 2012
New Kids on the Farm
This is three of the seven calves we purchased for Christmas. (I never thought of cows as Christmas presents before now!) As you can see the sweet feed continues to work its magic. They were only two to four months old when they arrived. We have learned a lot about calf daycare since our first purchases...a good thing for the calves. One of them became very ill and dehydrated. We actually force feed her raw eggs (I'll believe anything on the Internet). The amazing thing is it worked! She is doing great and they are all out in the pasture with the big girls now.
Reasons research is my new best friend:
1) I have cured warts
2) Jake is still alive and kicking
3) I saved the life of at least one sick calf
Wednesday, January 25, 2012
Variety is the spice of life...
so we added a little spice to our herd. Yep, we added a red Angus to the group. We now have one little girl who absolutely stands out. We named her "Lucy". We didn't set out to get a red head, but she was in the group of seven girls we purchased and I didn't have the heart to leave her behind...so she has joined in the chaos of our farm
Never settle for dull:
1) red heads are more exciting
2) Jake is sort of red..well a lot of yellow with a little red
3) who knows, someday I may try red
Sunday, January 22, 2012
Well, the answer was she was pregnant. We watched and waited, and waited and watched; finally Thursday she started showing signs of labor. We spent Thursday night and the morning hours of Friday with her. We knew going into this she was really young, and the father had to be a member of her original herd (never a good thing).
So, long story short, the calf was a stillborn. Things just weren't right. The only good news here is my cow came through it okay and is doing fine. The bad news is the first birth of a calf for me on the farm ended with tears.
Reasons I am not in charge of mother nature:
1) I would never want anything to die
2) Jake might be second in command of everything
3) I can't make the tough decisions
Tuesday, January 3, 2012
Happy New Year
Here is to new year and a do over. If Jake can learn to kiss a cow, then I can learn to pick myself up and turn off the lights on my pity party. I had a co-worker once who said "The more I am around people the better I like my dogs." Well, I hope to never be there; but Jake is looking pretty good. The people who can knock you down the quickest and hardest are family members and people you truly thought you could trust.
Okay, with that said I am moving on. I now 31 cows with at least one in the oven. The winter grass is in so the cows are eating away. The latest purchases were 7 tiny little girls. One had to be given extra care, but seems on the way to being well.
Things I never thought I would be excited about..
1) a pregnant cow (due any day now; I think she waiting for an ice storm)
2) Jake kissing cows
3) my bull doing bull things (they have no manners)