Thanks to all of you who've left notes and sent emails wanting to know how the farm animals have been doing. I'm so glad you appreciate them as much as we do! Just for you, I went out this evening and took some new photos. It's been a bit cloudy and windy today so getting photos was a bit challenging, but I managed to get a few good ones.
First, I thought I'd introduce you to a new critter. (Not new to the farm, just new to you.) This is Junior. Spot Junior, to be exact. He's one of the barn cats. He's a very good helper while we're out at the barn -- always making sure we get things done right, I think.
Even though it doesn't look like it in this photo, he really does have two eyes. I think he was just dozing (aka "working hard") when I caught him sitting on the tractor seat. I couldn't resist taking his photo. Of course, as soon as he heard me take his photo he jumped down off the tractor and flopped over on the ground begging for a belly rub. Yes...a real WILD animal. As WILD as they come.
The new calf has a name now... meet Ribeye! He's a wild animal too! So wild in fact, it's very difficult for me to get a photo of him because he has to get so CLOSE to me! I can't focus on something close enough to touch noses with! But he's sure a cutie. He sleeps a LOT during the day, but when he decides it's time to play he sprints around the barnyard chasing anything he can find. Chickens, cats, shadows... I can't believe he's 13 days old already! What a monster!
We don't think Ribeye will have horns. When a cow naturally doesn't have horns, it's called "polled". Polled Dexter cattle seem to have a bit more value than horned Dexter cattle. Ribeye's mother, Princess, is also a polled cow. A lot of people consider polled cattle a bit safer to work with than horned cattle (duh!).
Dixie's Chick is getting BIG, and like the rest of the "hard working" animals on the farm, she's lazy. In this photo you can see her horns starting to come in -- they're about an inch long now. Her mother, Dixie, has long forward pointing horns. Ouchie-waawaa if she were to head butt anyone! We hope Chick's hair continues to lighten up a bit to a nice chocolatey brown. She's so pretty in the sun! And we don't need any more black cows!
Fitz is getting HUGE! Growing like a weed! Still ornery just like his mother. When Ribeye gets a few weeks older, we'll separate Chick, Ribeye and Fitz from their mothers, and keep them in a smaller barnyard where we can work with them a bit more than we can now. They're all friendly enough animals, but Fitz tends to get bossed by his CRANKY mother a bit too much. We don't want her lack of social skills to rub off on him. So we'll put the babies in the barnyard, force affection and critter cookies on them, and teach them how to socialize with people.
Should be a rodeo.