I thought it might be time for an update on Sweet Potato, the young heifer calf we got just after Thanksgiving and bottle fed. Here she is "mowing" the backyard and enjoying the lush vegitation that grows in the drain field. You can see her horns starting to come in.
She's getting so big! Maybe one of these days I'll actually get a photo of her next to one of our full-size Dexters. They're not the most cooperative critters when it comes to posing where I want them. *grin*
I thought I'd pop out to the barnyard and see what Sweet Potato was up to this afternoon. It's been a month or so since her last update.
And she's filthy from the rain and mud. Not really looking like a baby anymore, is she? She's a very quiet calf. Hardly ever makes a peep. She has been sneaking milk off of Princess, so she's not really into bottle feeding any longer. And finally she's interested in hay! Took her long enough!
Looks like it's going to get chilly up north of us tonight! We're expecting a high of 71 tomorrow, but then it's supposed to drop down into the low 30's and 40's starting Sunday, after a bit of rain on Saturday. Damp And Cold = Brrrrrrr!
Alan and I moved Sweet Potato into the barnyard on Sunday, so she could interact with the goats, and have plenty of room to stretch her legs. She also has a new friend in the barnyard, too! Princess's baby, Leia who was born yesterday morning.
She explored the hay bale. Fascinating stuff! She's been eating her bottled milk well. By recommendation of our vet, we're giving her dextrose injections, to help keep her stable while she adjusts to being taken off of her mother's milk. She's not too hip on the injections part of her day.
You can see her little umbilical chord still hanging from her belly. Such a young thing! And you can still see the auction house sticker we haven't been able to get off her yet. It's REALLY stuck. There was a second one on her as well, but we got that one off without too much trouble. The remaining one is not so easy to remove.
It will be great fun to watch her grow up next to Princess's little Dexter calf. Who, honestly, can almost walk under the belly of Sweet Potato. There's quite a size difference. I will continue to try and get some photos of them together. Leia is still doing a lot of laying and snoozing, but soon enough they will be bouncing around enjoying each other's company.
Life on the farm is full of fun these days, wouldn't you say!?
Alan and I were busy going about our morning yesterday, like any other Sunday. Chicken chores were done. Dogs and cats were fed. And we were just getting started on getting Sweet Potato her breakfast. That's when I noticed our cow, Princess, coming up from the far end of the pasture with a BABY by her side! WHOA! We weren't expecting her to deliver for another month or so. I guess our calculations were a bit off!
Yesterday, Alan went to the livestock auction to see what kind of critters were passing through. There were lots of mid-summer calves, lots of bred cows, and some HUGE bulls. There were also three or four very young calves there with their mothers. Sometimes, a mother and calf are sold as a pair, but not always.
When this little one came into the arena with her mother, people started bidding. The mother was taken out of the arena SOLD, but the little calf was left in the arena to be sold separately. The auctioneer started the bidding, but no one bid. The price was lowered again and again, and still no bidders. So, Alan put up a bid. And, what do you know, no one bid against him. Soooo, we brought the little bugger home!
We are not sure of her breed, and we're OK with that. She's blonde and white, and has a very calm personality. She's very young .... maybe a week old, so she will need to be bottle fed for a while until she starts eating solid foods. She wasn't interested in the bottle at ALL last night, so we let her be. In the morning I tried the bottle again, and after about 10-15 minutes of encouraging her to eat, she finally decided that it was pretty ok and she drank her entire breakfast! And at lunch time, she had more. It is quite funny to bottle feed such a big animal. Once she gets started, she's quite enthusiastic about the process!
I'm thinking about naming her Sweet Potato.
Darcy's calf was quite interested in what was going on. We are certain these two will become fast friends. It was a perfect day for delivery. Yesterday's rain cooled the air. Though a bit windy, the afternoon sun was finding it's way through the remaining clouds.
The name Little Moo comes from a young blog reader named Chris who reads the blog with his mom. He LOVES cows, and suggested that "Little Moo" would be the perfect name for Lucy's baby. We quite agree! Little Moo she is!
Hope you had a super weekend!
A few days ago I mentioned briefly that we welcomed a new little one to the farm on Friday, and I thought it was about time I shared a photo! Our cow, Darcy, had a little heifer calf, and she is as tiny and CUTE as can be! She's got her legs under her now, and love to race around the barnyard. Zoooooooom!
Took some video clips this evening showing the progress of some of the garden veggies, the wildflowers in the pastures, and COWS!
If you're not able to view the video here on my blog, you will find it here on YouTube.
Albert licks her face... Betty seems to really enjoy it. Oddly enough, she's been afraid of all the other calves we've had in the barnyard with the two goats. There must be something special about Albert...
Just keep the barnyard antics to a minimum, you two lovebirds!
Monday afternoon our cow Pixie delivered a cute little dun colored heifer calf! She had her during the sunny part of the day, down by the pond. We've been expecting her to deliver, but as obstinate as she is, we were not able to get her into the barnyard prior to the delivery. In fact, we weren't able to get her into the barnyard AFTER the delivery, either! I think we've determined the next COW we'll be selling!
The calf was just a few hours old when I saw her out in the pasture. I popped right on out to take some photos. She had already been standing and nursing, so things were going well.
We're glad that Pixie delivered her baby shortly after Pixie Dust delivered her calf (Manetta's Valentine). Now the two will be good friends and playmates.
Speaking of little Manetta, here she is with her mama, Pixie Dust. They were down by the pond when I went to check on the new baby. Enjoying the sunshine!
We are selling some of the calves later this week, so this evening Alan and I had a little rodeo in the barnyard. I only snapped a few photos -- there's not a lot of time for taking photos when I'm doing half of the work and need to be focused on operating the chute while Alan's moving the cows. We try to make the process safe, quick, and easy on the animals, and us. It was their first time in the chute, but they all did surprisingly well.
When it was Cassinova's turn in the chute, he pouted. Our chute is sized for full-sized animals, and well... even our adult Dexters don't fill the chute. When we're working with the smaller critters, we find it works best if we steady their heads with a rope wrapped around their horns. It keeps them up on their feet, and keeps them from bonking their head around on the chute rails.
Here is Cassinova just before I gave him his vaccination shot. Doesn't he look thrilled? They all took their shots really well, especially Cassinova. He didn't make a sound, and not a single tear was shed -- not even by me! *grin*
Here Alan is getting ready to set one of Cassinova's ear tags. Alan looks closely at the ear to make sure he doesn't hit a blood vessel when he clamps the tag into place. He's very good at setting ear tags .... piercings, anyone?
Pixie Stix wasn't too thrilled about the entire process. But now she's all ready to go to her new home. Moooo!
Zoooooooom! Where did this week GO!? Don't get me wrong, I'm grateful that the weekend has arrived, but holy smokes... seems like just yesterday we were at the beginning of the week with plenty of time to cross things off the to-do list. BAM! Before you know it, Friday arrives and my to-do list is just as long, if not longer, than it was earlier in the week. Someone needs to put a hold on time so I can catch up!
One of our neighbors stopped by today to let me know that we had two cows out. Lucy and Darcy. Baaaaad, BAD, cows. They were enjoying the grass and clover patches in the front yard. Thankfully, with just a shake of a bucket our cows come running and are easily put back into the pasture. This isn't the first time Lucy and Darcy have been out this week. In fact, it's about the 6th time. We can't find a 'hole' in the fence, so I'm guessing they're jumping. Not good. We don't have time to stand out in the back yard and watch them all day to figure out how they're getting out, either. Baaaaad cows. Anyway, the sun was shining so after I got the fellons back in the pasture I thought I'd snap some photos of the new baby.
We have received MANY emails wanting to know if we've settled on a name for Dust's baby. Yes, we did! In honor of my friend Manetta who celebrates her birthday on Valentine's Day, we've decided to officially name the baby Manetta's Valentine. That will make it easy to remember when she was born! I'm sure she'll have all kinds of nick-names. Troublemaker, PITA, buggarbutt... none of which reflect in any way on Manetta. *grin*
Oh, and Manetta, if you would actually like to have this little one for your very own, you've got first dibs on taking her home... all the way to Oregon! What do you say, Manetta!? She's little ... won't take up much room, and hardly eats a thing! And I'm sure Alan will make you a real good deal!
She was out in the pasture for the first time today and was having fun exploring all kinds of new things. Mostly the trees and bushes. The pasture is such a big place for her, having been kept in the barnyard with her mama for the past week.
We think Albert is happy to have a friend his size. Well, almost his size ... he's actually 3 or 4 times her size, or more, but he's only 2 months older than her. They'll be good playmates.
Well, here's to a wonderful weekend! ENJOY!!
Look who we welcomed to the farm today! A sweet baby girl, just in time for Valentine's day! She's just hours old in these photos.
She was born in the farthest corner of the farm. Her mother is Pixie Dust, and her father is Houdini. And would you just LOOK at those eye lashes!
Any suggestions for a name? Valentine? Cupid? Or ... ?
Took the camera out yesterday evening just before sunset to see what I could see. Not much was happening and it was getting dark quickly so I didn't have a lot of time to take photos. I was able to get a photo of Albert, though! He's the young calf that was born just before Christmas. He is Princess' calf, and we're excited that not only is he dun (brown), but he's also polled (hornless)! Way to go, Princess!
As usual, Baaaaad Boxcar Betty wanted to know "When'z dinner?"
Callio-Pea wanted to know "Got any goat cookies in your pocket? I'm the good goat, you know!"
Walnut, quite possibly the sweetest hen to ever live, would also have liked some snacks.
Sorry girls, I'm fresh out!
First of all, thank you for all your support to those who purchased the On the Farm 2011 calendar last year. We had a great response to last year's calendar, and have decided to offer On the farm 2012.
A small portion of all purchases comes back to the farm, and all proceeds recieved go towards the care and feeding of the animals here on the farm. The calendars make fantastic gifts, and are ideal for personal use. The calendar is available in 3 sizes. All of the photos in the calendar were taken by me; I hope you choose to spend 2012 enjoying photos from our farm.
Order your own copy of On the farm 2012 today! Some of your favorite farm critters are featured in the pages of our calendar! Even Baaaaad Boxcar Betty makes an appearance!
HOT SALE! Today through November 20th, cards are 50% off, and calendars are 20% off when you use coupon code CARDSCAL2011 at order checkout. In addition to the 2012 calendar, you will also find all kind of lovely cards in my Zazzle shop as well!
Zazzle Coupon Details:
Enter code: CARDSCAL2011 at checkout in the "Zazzle Coupons/Gift Certificates" box 50% of the greeting card, invitation, photo card and postcard net sale price will be deducted when one or more qualifying products are purchased. 20% of the calendar net sale price will be deducted when one or more qualifying calendars are purchased. The coupon code CARDSCAL2011 must be applied at checkout to apply these discount offers. Offer is valid until November 20, 2011 at 11:59pm PT. This offer does not apply to past purchases and may not be combined with any other Zazzle promotional or volume discount offers. If a volume discount applies to your order, you will receive either the discount set forth in this offer or the standard volume discount, whichever is greater. Offer valid on Zazzle.com only.
I try to keep a good variety of topics here on the blog, and it seems it might be time for a farm update! Here's a quick one for you of yesterday evening's cow feeding activities. Feeding time is always very popular with the critters. Alan carries sweet feed out to the cows, and the goats are always hot on his trail! They don't miss a beat!
He pours the feed in troughs, and the cows munch it all up. Mmmm, good! You can see Baaaaad Boxcar Betty in the far right of the photo, eagerly wanting some of the feed. But the goats are not allowed into the pastures with the bigger Dexters and donkeys.
The goats get to share (what they can steal) with Gracie and Pixie Stix, our two youngest heifers, who are in the barnyard with the goats, away from Houdini's loving ways. Gracie and Pixie Stix are not quite 1 year old, and we don't want them bred too early. So, in the barnyard they stay.
Lucy, our little red cow, is low-cow in the herd. She's not an aggressive cow so she doesn't fight her way in (and she's the littlest), so the other cows don't like to let her belly up to the bar. Here are Pixie and Princess pigging out, while Lucy looks on from the side.
What the cows don't know is that Lucy gets special treats while they are busy enjoying their snacks, or are out at pasture not paying attention to what's happening up at the barn. The donkeys stand by, waiting their turn.
When putting out new hay bales, Alan shuts the gate between two pastures so we don't have to deal with the cows while he's moving the tractor in and out of the pasture. Pixie heard him rattle the gate and looked to see what was going on. She quickly went back to eating.
Alan sets the hay in short bale fences to lengthen the life of the bale. The cows like to rub on the bales, which tears them up faster than anything and wastes a lot of hay. The bale fences are a necessity! We have short cows, so the bale fences are short too.
Here we are already at September 4th, and I've neglected to share this month's 2011 calendar image! Oops! September in the 2011 On the Farm calendar features COWS!
Stay tuned for the 2012 calendar details in the next couple months! It promises to be a good one!
We finally got some much needed rain last night. Oooooh it smells so GOOD! So, since I didn't have to water the garden this morning, I took the camera around to see what some of the critters were up to.
If you have trouble viewing the video here on the blog, you can check it out here on YouTube!
Oh, and I've added a link to my YouTube channel on the right in the Sassy & Sweet Stuff list. All of the farm videos are there for your enjoyment. *grin*
I went out to lock up the chickens tonight (like I do every evening) and to make sure water containers and feeders were topped off. The ducks were quite upset, giving me all kinds of attention. Lots of quacking and carrying on. I have a duck that's been broody, and we've been nursing a sore foot pad on her, so I've been letting her sit on some eggs so she doesn't feel like she needs to be running around the chicken yard all day on her sore foot pad. Even she was off of her nest, quacking, and was quite upset about something.
Since our snake issues began, I've been carrying a two-way walkit-talkie so I can get Alan's assistance as needed. This certainly called for some much needed assistance! I voiced over the radio for him to grab my camera and come to the chicken yard, that there was a snake thinking about eating a duck egg!
Here is a series of photos for you .... since we had to experience this, it's only fair that you do too!! *grin*
We let the snake get the egg all the way swallowed, and then Alan placed a paper feed sack in front of the snake and with a long garden stake, encouraged the snake to go into the bag. At first it thought about escaping through the fence, but there's just no way it would have fit through 1" chicken wire having just swallowed the duck egg. It changed it's mind, and just like that, the snake was in the bag. Alan poked down the top of the bag, rolled up the top edge, and we went about the process of relocating the snake near a big open field and pond.
What we found interesting was that while the snake was working on the egg, and while the snake was in the bag while we transported it, it was shaking it's tail and mimicing the tail shake that a rattlesnake does. But this was just a rat snake ... trying to be extra scary, I guess. Believe me, it was scary enough just the way it was. What we also found interesting is that in just the few minutes that it took us to get to where we relocated the snake to, we couldn't even tell that it had swallowed that huge egg! Whoa!
Yesterday morning I saw another hog-nosed snake (only maybe 3' long one) in the zucchini bed in the garden. I'll be watching for that one to show up again, too. Jeepers... enough snakes already!!
In other LESS CREEPY farm news...
Sayin' hi to his mom who had gone into the larger barnyard to snack on the hay while little one napped under a shade tree. They greeted each other through the fence ("You ARE my mom!"), and then he bounced his way through the open gate to join her.
We didn't witness the delivery, but as I was coming in from the garden with a bowl of freshly picked beans I noticed Lucy standing near the hay bale, paying close attention to something laying in the hay.
About 30 minutes later, the baby was testing out it's legs and in search of milk, and was successful! Pure joy! Long evening shadows cast darkness across the barnyard so I didn't get any other photos, but I'll make a point of taking some tomorrow evening. It sure is fun having babies on the farm!
Way to go, LUCY!
Welcome to the farm, little one!
I hope you enjoyed your Memorial Day celebrations today! We had Alan's parents and nephew over for lunch, and then spent the rest of the day tinkering around the farm. It was an enjoyable day, though a bit too warm and windy! June is almost upon us, but summertime weather has been with us already for some time. Alan and I were discussing today just how much it feels (and LOOKS) like August outside. Dreadful to say the least. Is it too much to ask for a rainy summer!? I'm asking, I'm ASKING!
She spent a lot of time today just milling around the barnyard, not eating much of her hay. She also spent some time looking longingly at the rest of the herd in the pasture, who were enjoying themselves in the sunshine. We pulled Lucy out of the pasture a couple days early because she kept having horn wars with Pixie Dust. Their scuffling about would get the rest of the herd all excited, and they would start chasing after Lucy. She's never been very high up on the herd chain of command, and we didn't need them running her when she's so close to delivery! So into the barnyard she went. So come on, Lucy! Let's meet that baby of yours, already!
Baaaaad Boxcar Betty was bored by the daily activities, and chose to spend her day in the shade, munching on grass, and occasionally petting herself with the fence. "Ooooooooh, that feels so goooooood!"
I checked in on Olive Oyle and her chicks, and look what I found! One of her little one's enjoying a bit of mamma time! So cute!! I was only able to get this one photo taken before the chick hopped off of her back. Olive Oyle is a Turken (naked neck), and she is supposed to have the naked neck. Three of her chicks are naked neck's too, even tho their papa (Admiral) isn't a Turken. I think they are just about the cutest chicks, with their little fuzzy heads, and little fuzzy "bow tie" (what I call the clump of feathers on the front of their lower neck).
And this is the third Turken chick, with coloring similar to Olive Oyle's. Sooooo cute!! Olive Oyle has three other chicks as well (an Easter Egger, and two mille fleurs) but they weren't interested in posing for the camera. Maybe another time.
Here is a simple card I made using my recently released stamp set called Garden Fresh. The cucumber plants in the garden are really taking off, and I'm getting excited about the possibility of making home grown pickles, relish, and cucumber/tomato salad!
I also planted some lemon cucumber seeds yesterday evening, something I've never grown before. They should be an exciting addition to our summer!
In critter news, I've got to get some photos taken of Olive Oyle's chicks. She's got three of the cutest little Turken (naked neck) chicks (baby Manetta's!), a couple itty bitty mille fleur's, and a little easter egger chick.
Our pretty little red Dexter cow, Lucy, should be having her baby soon! Possibly during the weekend! Here's hoping it's red!
Here's hoping you have a WONDERFUL holiday weekend, full of family, sunshine, and good times! We've got a to-do list as long as my arm, but we will be sure to take some time out for relaxation and celebrating Memorial Day.
Stanley and his mother were put out to pasture with the rest of the herd. He thinks it's pretty cool having so many mothers looking after him! He still is knee high to a Texas-sized grasshopper, so it's good they pay so close attention to him.
Here we are in the month of May, and how about an update on the garden! This is how I keep track of things, you know ... I hope you don't mind me sharing!
Here's the "big picture" of the garden -- photo taken today. Yup, the tarp is still up on the side of the chicken yard. The to-do list is long... it's not a top priority, yet! I am actually glad it's still up -- I was able to keep last week's rain from blowing in under their covered yard, and had we actually received any rain today (like the 70-80% chance of rain we were supposed to have had), it would have come in handy again! Maybe we'll get rain tomorrow like they're predicting. We'll see. Oh, and if you look closely, you can see Alan in this photo just beyond the corner of the chicken yard (on the right side). He's trimming some tree limbs that were rubbing on the roof over the chicken yard. The ladies say "Yay, Farmer, cluck cluck!" They got to pick the leaves off of the cut branches, and thought that was great fun!
The plants in the garden got a little whipped and beat up in last week's storms. Lots of hail damage (plants got snapped off, lots of holes and tears in leaves), and the wind roughed up the leaves a good deal. The double-yield cucumbers took a beating, just like everything else. But they should be alright, assuming they can tolerate the rest of spring and summer. You can see the goat pellets I added to this bed today. In fact, all of the plants got a light side-dressing of goat poo today! Fun!
When I had such a poor showing of purple pole beans, I decided to fill in the center row with some green pole beans. The seeds came up quickly and filled in the row nicely, and hopefully they all start trellising! The plants that are only a week or so old are the same size as the purple pole bean plants that are well over 1 month old! The two outer rows of bush beans are doing much better than they were a week ago... I thought I was going to have to consider scrapping the bean crop, but looks like they might do OK. Fingers crossed.
This is the black and yellow zucchini bed. There are a few more plants in this bed than I had intended to put here, thanks to what I thought were failed seeds. But turns out I was just being impatient. I think the seeds were just fine. *grin*
These plants looked terrible after last week's storms, but they have really perked up and taken off! Yesterday I noticed that I had a high number of cucumber beetles on the plants, so everything got a good spraying of neem oil last night. The battle with the insects continues.
This is the best looking strawberry plant in the entire strawberry bed. It's about 3" long, and just over 1" wide, to give you a size estimate. Pretty small. I've snipped off the little flowers that this plant had, to force the plant to put more energy into establishing a better root system while they're so young. Even the strawberry plants took a beating in the storm -- some of these leaves are missing their ends.
The heirloom tomato plants are growing! Finally! Hopefully they built good strong roots for themselves! The random row of onions I planted down the middle are up as well! I know the tomato plants will eventually shade those onions, but I plan to dig them up and move them eventually anyway. For now, they're just fine!
The plants that surprise me the most in this garden update are "the other" tomato plants (two Celebrity, two Juliet, and two Solar Fire) that Alan and I built our "redneck wood trellis and watering system" around. They are well past the 16" bottom trellis row, and well on their way to the 32" row! The two Juliet plants lost their primary stem in the hail storm and are continuing to put on growth, but are requiring a bit more support to keep their secondary stems aiming upright. They're going to make me earn every tomato they grow!
For you. *grin*
If you have trouble viewing the video here on the blog, you can check it out on YouTube.
Here's the video I put together following this afternoon's storm. I'm sorry to have missed filming the earlier part of the storm -- I was so involved in watching what was happening! So, I missed the trees blowing sideways, tree branches blowing across the yard, the rain and huge HAIL blowing completely sideways. I'll be better prepared next time!
Here's a bit of what you'll see:
BIG HAIL (at 1:10 and 1:45ish)
My poor tomatoes and other garden plants
The new calf having a milkshake tasting contest, and a RACE!
Rain, rain, RAIN!
5 calves eating hay
Dash on post
If you have trouble viewing the video here on the blog, you can always check it out on YouTube!
If you'd like to see birthing photos, the next photos are for you.
If not ... proceed w/ caution! *grin*
Welcome to the farm, little fella!
LtoR: Dumbo (Harry), Pixie Stix (partially behind tree), Gracie (black one in front), Riblet (black one closer to the fence), and Popsicle (standing)
And here's why I hardly ever get photos of the goats with "short" lenses on the camera (or any lens, for that matter!) ... the camera strap gets chewed on, my pockets get assaulted, my toes get stood on. *grin*
Alan moved a couple of the calves into the barnyard this afternoon to wean them from their mothers. They get to share the barnyard with the goats ... and Callio-Pea wanted to let them know that SHE is BOSS. (...or she just wanted to play...)
Over and over, she'd stand up on her hind legs and want to crack heads with the calves, with every hair on her body standing straight up! Alan's mother, Sue, stopped by just in time for the show! That's her pretty gold Dodge van in our driveway.
The photo of Dixie above taken in May 2010... hopefully that means wildflowers are on their way for this spring! Oh, and if you don't know, the cattle we raise are Irish Dexters. You can learn all about them HERE. Moooo!
Since we've got 5 babies on the farm right now, how about a little update and current photos?
The oldest of the five babies is Pixie Stix, born October 28, 2010. She's still as cute, and curious as can be! I took this photo this afternoon, after a morning of light rain. She'd been lovin' on the hay bale, next to her mother.
Harry (Dumbo) was next to be born, and joined the herd on the farm November 3, 2010. Once we got him to eat on his own, nothing held him back! He's really grown! I took this photo of him on Wednesday, earlier this week. See his little horns starting to come in? And how the sun has bleached out the tips of his ears! Cute!
Princess was next to deliver her baby, and we were THRILLED when we saw she'd delivered a heifer! Princess Grace (Gracie) was born on November 18, 2010. After years of little bull calves from Princess, it's about time we get her good-looks passed on to a girl! Gracie is adorable, and we love how the sun has bleached her hair to a dark auburn color. I took this photo of Gracie on Wednesday, earlier this week, when the sun was shining so nicely in the late afternoon.
Next to be welcomed to the farm was Riblet. Teeny tiny, but oh so CUTE! Riblet was born on November 29, 2010. He must be a real good eater, because he's growing like a weed! I took this photo of him earlier today, after a morning of light rain. Apparently he's been playing in the mud. You can see his little horn nubs, too.
Last but certainly not least, there's Pixie's Popsicle, born January 11, 2011. I think he hit the ground running, 'cause he certainly doen't quit moving very often! I can't believe how much he has changed in just a few days of life outside his mama! I took this photo this afternoon. He's been enjoying the rain and mud too, I see!
BARNYARD GAME: RIBLET VS POPSICLE
There was lots of head bonking on the part of Popsicle, and at first it seemed that Riblet wasn't too sure he should be playing with Popsicle. I think Popsicle was taking advantage of the fact that his mother didn't notice he'd wandered away from her!
Love it! *grin*
January 11, 8:00am.
I'm just sitting down to start work for the day when I remember my phone is laying on the kitchen table. I leave my office and step into the kitchen to grab the phone off of the table. The outdoor thermometer next to the kitchen window reads 22 degrees, and I can see by the branches of the trees outside that it's windy, too. In some places 22 degrees would be considered tropical for winter temperatures, but for here in Central Texas, that's just down-right COLD!
Something catches my eye out the window; something odd is standing in what's left of a round bale of hay out in the pasture. At first I think it's Riblet, our littlest black bull calf. He's the smallest in the herd. The way he is hunched up in the middle makes me think something might be wrong with him, like maybe he got injured in the night. A dreadful thought. If it is Riblet, it's odd that he isn't with his mother. The only other cow I see in the pasture is Pixie. Something isn't right.
I walk over to the other kitchen window to get a better look (a view not obstructed by tree branches), and it becomes very clear to me that what I am seeing isn't Riblet at all! Pixie, yes ... and HOLY COW, a new baby COW!
It's 22 degrees. I put on my hat, scarf, coat, gloves, and boots, and stuff my phone in a pocket. Alan is in Missouri spending some time with family, and will want to hear the news right away. I dial his number as I walk out the door.
Pixie isn't interested in letting me get near. She sees me walking towards the pasture and her and the baby hi-tail it (as quickly as a newborn can go) towards the far end of the pasture. Not wanting to stress her and the calf, I go back to the house and get in the car. I drive down the road and fence line in the direction she went. When I catch up with her, the two of them have joined the rest of the herd at the tree line. Little one is nursing, and all seems to be going well. Alan is thrilled!
Later in the day I pop outside to see where they might be. The entire herd is in the back pasture, and little one is enjoying a snooze in the hay, out of the wind.
After work and just before sunset, I take my camera out for some photos...
Meet Pixie's Popsicle!
I went out earlier and took some quick video clips of the farm activities. The snow was really coming down, and still is! About 4" have accumulated now. Fun!
Enjoy the video! ...oh, and you might notice that there isn't a chicken to be seen! They were ALL in the coop. Sissies!
If you have trouble viewing the video here on the blog, you can see the video HERE on YouTube.
Happy Snow Day!
PS: For those of you with relatively slow internet connections (Mom and Dad!), start the video, then press the PAUSE button (the button with two vertical bars) and allow the video to download. You will see the download progress by watching the red/pink progress bar extend. Once the progress bar is almost complete, press play again. This will allow you to watch the video without lots of stops and starts.
Today thru Friday, December 17th, calendars at Zazzle are 40% off when you use coupon code 40CLNDRS2011. Order your own copy of On the Farm, a 2011 calendar, today! Some of your favorite farm critters are featured in the pages of the 2011 custom calendar!
I will receive approximately $4.00 per calendar purchased; money that will be put towards keeping the critters on the farm happy, and healthy!
40% of the calendar net sale price will be deducted when one or more qualifying calendar items are purchased and the coupon code 40CLNDRS2011 is applied at checkout. Offer is valid from November 12, 2010 through December 17, 2010 at 11:59pm PT. This offer does not apply to past purchases and may not be combined with any other Zazzle promotional or volume discount offers. If a volume discount applies to your order, you will receive either the discount set forth in this offer or the standard volume discount, whichever is greater. Offer valid on Zazzle.com only.
Yesterday, Alan noticed that Chick was showing signs that she would be delivering her calf in the next day or so. We prefer the cows to deliver their babies in the barnyard, so we can assist as needed. And since she's not a very big cow, her babies are always small (and could easily be taken by a predator). So last night when we were locking up all the critters and doing our evening rounds, we coaxed her into the barnyard with a bucket of alfalfa cubes (aka Cow Cookies). In the wee hours of morning, Chick delivered a little black bull calf. Here are some photos for you!
Chick wasn't too hip on me being nearby, so I stayed a good distance away. While she was in the barn she was pawing the ground, kicking hay and dirt all over the place, letting me know she didn't want me close. That's why she's covered in dirt and bits of hay.
Yesterday before dawn, on the coldest morning we've had so far this season (29*), we had 37 round bales of hay delivered. Alan was busy with the tractor all morning, unloading the bales from the delivery truck trailors, and moving the hay to the area on the farm we store the bales. The critters were very excited! They love hay delivery day!