Thought I'd share this year's MARCH photo, from the 2012 On the Farm calendar.
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 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.
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.
Finally, Hillary brought baby Truman up to the barn! She's kept him waaaaaaay out in the pasture since he was born. Alan managed to get the two of them into the barn yard so we can be sure to keep an eye on both of them, and make sure they can get out of the weather. Having him in the barn yard means he's always on hand for photos! Yay! ...if only there were more time in my day.
Everyone was interested!
We KNEW Hillary was pregnant, but we didn't know the due date. Today, we learned that it was TODAY!
Hillary delivered this CUTE little fella this morning. This will be the last baby donkey born on the farm, as all of the boys have had their plumbing altered since Hillary got pregnant (way to go, Fitz...).
When this little fella is old enough, he'll make a visit to the vet's office as well for some alterations. Until then, he'll get to bounce around the pasture and sniff wildflowers 'till his heart's content!
I was able to run out to the pasture at lunch, so you're looking at high NOON photos (ack!). And by the way, it hit 95 degrees here today. *I wilted*
I think Hillary is happy to have lost some baby weight... it feels so GOOOOOOD to roll!
Yesterday evening, Alan went out to move some round bales into the pastures for the cows and donkeys. As he drove along the fence line, all the critters gathered around the water troughs eagerly waiting for their hay (they love new bales!) He thought to himself "Man, I've got a lot of donkeys." And then did a double-take.... there seemed to be one more set of ears than usual.... time for a headcount... yup, two more ears than usual!
Remember back in early August when tiny little C-Biscuit was born (with no warning), and Muffin (her mama) wouldn't let her nurse? Knowing that IF Molly was pregnant (she's always been rather "round"), she would have gotten pregnant at about the same time as Muffin, so we were hoping that Molly would have her baby soon so that C-Biscuit could possibly nurse off of her, or at least have a little friend her size!
Unfortunately, Molly didn't have her baby and sadly, we lost C-Biscuit. We didn't know exactly just how pre-mature C-Biscuit was... now we know it was easily several months. It's been so long that we haven't even been sure that Molly was even pregnant! I guess she WAS!
MOLLY HAD A BABY!!
Yesterday morning, Molly looked no different than any other day -- there was no reason for us to even suspect that she was going to deliver ... we didn't even have reason to believe that she was in fact pregnant (I emphasize, she's always been rather round). Today, post delivery, she's NOT round!
Meet Nick! Born just in time for Christmas! This is a wonderful thing to see for any young animal -- successful eating!! He seems happy and healthy and strong ... but LITTLE, just like his papa!
I don't know what it is about the animals having babies either when I'm traveling, or just before I leave for someplace, but that's how they seem to do it... I'm leaving for the airport in just a couple of hours, headed up to Northeastern Washington to spend the rest of December with my family. I'd better START packing!!
Anna and I found C-biscuit in a critical state this morning and were not able to revive her here at the farm. We took her to a vet in Hillsboro to see if there was anything they could do. They have her on IV fluids, pain meds, antibiotics and she is in the oxygen-filled ICU room.
We would appreciate any "heal up fast" thoughts/prayers you can send our little C-biscuit's way.
We will know more by tomorrow morning. We will update this posting as we find out any news.
Sadly, Anna and I had to say goodbye to our sweet little C-biscuit today. She passed away this afternoon. We brought her home and buried her out near Dollie Mae. Both of us appreciate all of the comments and support that we received from everyone.
The vet did say that he believes that based on Muffin's behavior (she currently thinks she is a boy donkey and is trying to get Jackie pregnant) that something went wrong during her pregnancy. Based on this, he has recommended that we never allow Muffin to have another baby.
This little gal , named Rhoda from Rosie's Roadshow, is how I feel lately...not only in the morning, but all day long! This is a 3.5x5 inch card, which is a fun size to make when working with smaller images.
I paired Rhoda with a cute little bunny slipper stamp from Stampendous, and warmed up the card with some caramel colored ink sponged around the edges.
Mornings...who needs um?!
She continues to eat well with Alan and I as her feeding "staff". I lifted her tonight, and it feels like she's putting on weight. Yay!! But even with as much love (and milk) as we've provided, she still seems like such a sad little donkey. I moved Molly (another of our donkeys) into the barnyard near her today. Molly is expecting (other than any random baby chickens that might hatch, Molly's baby should be the last baby for us for 2008), and we're hoping she has her baby soon. It would be great if Molly's baby and C-Biscuit bond and become friends. But if that doesn't work out, maybe we'll raise C-Biscuit with the three goats until she's old enough and strong enough to hold her own with the rest of the herd. At least she'd have friends (three crazy goat friends) even if they do teach her all KINDS of bad goat manners! *grin*
Unfortunately, it seems that Muffin (C-Biscuit's mama) truly has released any and all maternal instincts. Because of her completely unwilling and unnurturing ways, I put Muffin back out to pasture with Jackie, Lady Bird, and all the cows. She didn't even look back...
If Muffin chooses, she can still get into the barn with C-Biscuit, with only a small fence between them. But unless any of the other animals are in the barn as well, it's unlikely Muffin will spend any time in there.
Alan and I have our work cut out for us. But it's good work.
Thank you for all the well-wishes with the baby, and requests for an update! We're a little busier around here than usual since she was born, so it seems like everything is taking a bit longer to get done than normal.
We've decided to call Muffin's baby C-Biscuit. We think she's awfully cute, and with the quality food she's getting from us, she's bound to be a speed racer!
Muffin still refuses to let her nurse, so Alan and I bottle feed her every 90 to 120 minutes - round the clock.
Thankfully, she'll take food from both of us so we can feed on a "shift" schedule. We're always ready with a full bottle. Sometimes she only drinks 2 or 3 ounces, and other times she'll make a feast of the entire offering. In this photo, Alan's reading the side of the bottle to see how much she ate. Apparently she wasn't done -- she's got her tongue out looking for a snack, and it looks like she's hoping she'll find something on Alan's hairy knee!
We mix the milk using a product made specifically for baby animals. We mix up a quart jar of the milk at a time and keep it in the refrigerator. When it's time to feed, we warm the milk to about 105-110 degrees which she thinks is just right!
We tried using bottles made for calves, but with the large nipple size it didn't work so well. Turns out she prefers to drink from a human baby bottle. I'm sure it's just a matter of the nipple size being more suitable for her. We made the hole in the nipple a bit larger, and she drinks it right up! As she grows, she'll graduate to larger bottles made for sheep.
...I need a nap...
I don't know what it is about the animals that makes them deliver when I'm not home! Thankfully, Alan was home.
She looks and acts like a perfectly healthy little donkey, but for some reason her mother (Muffin) doesn't want anything to do with her. She won't let her eat... this isn't a good thing. Muffin is a first-time mama, but we never expected her, of all our animals, to not be motherly.
So... about every two hours, Alan and I head on out to the barnyard and give the baby milk replacer. This isn't exactly what any farmer wants to go through -- the stress is high for everyone, animals and us included.
She is a cutie though, huh!
I'll be honest.... when it's 100+ degrees outside, the last thing I want to do is head out into the sunshine carrying an 8 pound camera. The heat makes it seem more like a 40 pound camera. But I've been meaning to go out and take photos of Lady Bird, and just haven't had time until this evening. And even then, I only wanted to be out in the sun for a short while. Phwew, it's hot...
Taking photos of our animals isn't always easy. They're so friendly, they get too close for the focal length of my lens! Today was no different. I wasn't able to get any photos of our donkey Molly -- she pretty much rode around in my back pocket the entire time I was outside. I'm surprised I could get any shots at all, since Molly drapes her head over my shoulder when I kneel down to take pictures. They're all good helpers, I tell you!
I did manage to get a couple of cute photos of Lady Bird. She's not too sure of us yet, so she's pretty shy. In her opinion, the best place to be is on the OTHER side of her mama from me when I've got my camera in hand. It makes getting photos of her sweet (really, rotten) face a challenge.
She'll be a week old on Sunday. She LOVES to run. FAST!
Life on our farm never ceases to amaze me..... I was on the phone with Alan on Sunday morning while he comforted Twinkle Toes during her last minutes of life. We were both so very sad. Less than an hour later, Alan called me again -- this time with good news!
When he went out to do the morning feed he saw that Jackie, one of our spotted donkeys, had *finally* delivered her baby! (We were beginning to wonder if she wasn't actually prego, but just plump! I guess she was prego!) She delivered a sweet little jenny (girl). Don't you think she looks so much like little Eddie who was born last October!? Alan took this photo and emailed it to my phone so that I could see the new baby, even though I was away from home in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
We've decided to call her Lady Bird after Lady Bird Johnson and in our own little way, after Twinkle Toes who we also called Birdie. Lady Bird couldn't have been born at a better time! More farm updates coming soon! I'm trying to catch up on life!
I posted some of my favorite photos from today in my Farm Animals photo gallery. Amazingly enough, most of the animals were well behaved today. Eddie was a very "helpful" donkey and wouldn't stay far enough away from me for me to take very many photos of him! I did catch him talking to me though. His bray is so cute!
Alan and I got the cows and donkeys in all the right pastures, and thankfully we didn't have too many issues. Most of them will do anything, or go anywhere, as long as they think they're going to get some alfalfa cubes. Here's Alan leading Eddie, Jackie, Molly and Muffin from one pasture to another. The white bucket holds the "magic". Mmmm, cookies...
Last night while we were moving some of the cows, Pixie tagged Alan's leg with a kick. His pants still have the mud print to prove it! I told him I needed to get a photo and blog about it. Here ya go, girls! Haha!!
We've got all the pregnant cows in one pasture, closest to the barn, so that when it comes time for them to have their babies we don't have to worry about the donkeys or bulls injuring the calves. And we'll get to love all over them too, which is always nice!
Yesterday late afternoon Alan and I went out to visit Eddie in the pasture and I took a few photos. He's such a friendly, curious baby! It's really amazing to me just how much he looks like Hillary. The brown patches around his eyes, the spots on his rump, and his pretty black-lined eyes... she couldn't deny he's hers, that's for sure.
I'm also really surprised at how soft his coat is. He's as soft as the best fed house cat, but his hair is longer. Of course, since he lives in the pasture he collects the occasional burr and bits of hay, but that's to be expected.
I'm probably going to gush about him for a while... he's just so flippin' cute. I posted a few more photos in my Farm Animal photo gallery.
Alan was out with them this morning and Eddie just loved all over Alan for the longest time! Neck and side rubs seem to be his favorite! He just keeps comin' back for more!
Donkey's stomp their feet to get the flies off of their legs... Eddie was practicing his stomping this morning. It was so funny to watch... the little guy hasn't even mastered his directional controls yet (forward is sometimes sideways, and backwards is sometimes forward), and already he's trying out some donkey tricks.
He loves to wag his tail too. Makes me giggle!
First thing this morning Alan and I went out to check on Hillary and her baby. The baby was up and having some breakfast, and everyone seemed to be adjusting well. I was so excited to take more photos! I can't believe just how CUTE this baby is! Hillary is very calm with Alan and me in the pasture with them. She's letting the other lady donkey's get a bit closer than she did last night, but just not TOO close. Hillary doesn't seem to mind Alan and me touching the baby at all. And what an excited little FELLA he is! (I've got photos to prove it!) Very curious and friendly. He really seems to like Alan.
Alan's parents were over last night to see the baby, and as we sat around on the porch, Alan's mom suggested the name Eddie (this was before we knew it was a boy). I think Eddie is a sweet name, perfectly suited for a donkey as cute as this. Eddie it is (after Senator Edward Kennedy to keep up with our Democratic theme).
There are many other photos I could share with you here, but instead I've uploaded them to my Farm Animal photo gallery. Have a look! It is possible to share comments in the photo gallery, so feel free to leave us a note if you'd like! We'd love to hear from you!
This is what you get when you have VERY little light, a hand-held camera with big long lens, a very slow shutter speed, and randomly moving objects. And while these aren't fantastic photos, they're just perfect in my eyes. It's so fun to capture life like this.
After all of this activity, I think it was snack time.
I'm so excited for tomorrow morning when there will be light! Alan and I went out just a bit ago to check on them, and the little one was having a good time going backwards and forwards, forwards and backwards, grabbin' a snack, walking under Hillary, and just havin' a ball.
It was a wonderful thing this evening after dinner when Alan and I went out to the barn to feed. When we got out to the barn, Alan noticed that Hillary wasn't there with all the other cows and donkeys. Hillary was expecting, but we didn't expect her to have her baby for about another week. We've been watching her for the past couple of weeks, just waiting. Since she wasn't at the barn for feeding time, I decided to walk through the pastures to see if she was bed down some place away from all the others. That's a sure sign of an expecting mother about to give birth.
I saw Hillary in the farthest pasture from the barn, standing, facing away from me. As I got closer, I could see the little baby standing in front of her. I shouted back towards the barn to Alan so he'd come with me. As we got closer, it looked like the baby was on the other side of the fence from Hillary in the empty pasture. Sure enough it was, just on the other side of the wire from Hillary!
Alan went through the gate into the pasture to get the baby. It took a couple of wabbley steps toward Alan and he was able to easily pick it up and carry it around through the gate to Hillary. She was a happy mama! The baby sniffed Hillary, and then walked up to Alan and nuzzled his hands, and then walked right up to me and put it's head in my hands. Soooo cute, and SOOOO soft! Then, she went off to be with her mama. It was the sweetest thing -- like she was thanking us for saving her.
Alan walked down the fence line to see if he could see where the birth happened, and to see if he could figure out how the baby got on the other side of the fencing. We could see that the birth spot was right next to the wire, and either the baby wiggled it's way under the fence before it could get to it's feet, or (since there was birth stuff still hanging over the lower wire) it might be that Hillary was backed up against the wire when the baby was born. Either way, we are VERY lucky we decided to go feed when we did, and that Alan noticed Hillary missing, AND that we went to look for her. We could have woken up tomorrow to a very sad situation here on the farm. We're so thankful...
It was getting late in the evening when we found them and the sun had just set, so there wasn't much light left for photos. But I was able to catch a few, even if most of them are dark and a bit blurry.
Such a CUTE little baby! It's really amazing how lucky we can be in life.
I can't wait until morning, so I can go out and take more photos!! =)
The vet came out to the farm yesterday. We loaded all of the cows into the chute and they all got their vaccinations, and whatever else they needed. Ribeye and Chick also got pretty new red ear tags. The ear tags look pretty big on the little calves, but they'll grow into them.
This is Ribeye...he's 84 days old today. I guess he's telling me what he thinks of his new accessory.
If you're wondering what the letters and numbers on the tag mean, it's LF2T for Lauhoff Farms, Calf #2, and T=2007.
Today Alan separated the calves from their mothers, so now we've got Chick and Ribeye in the barnyard and all of the other cows in the pasture. We do this to wean the calves from their mothers (a benefit to us is that we can love all over them while they're still little), AND so in a couple of weeks we can put the bull in the pasture with the cows and they can "get it on".
I think this weekend we'll put him in the barnyard with the calves. Maybe we'll be able to brush his wild hair! He's soooo crazy... he's got dreadlocks! Haa!
He's a very sweet donkey. He loves to have his nose and face rubbed ALL over! The other donkeys think he's a pest. (And he is one...to the donkeys.)
Maybe he'll grow into those ears... some day.
PS: An update on the "pocket picking" that occurred yesterday with the vet: Only Butthead, one of the big bulls, got his pockets picked yesterday. The vet was here for a LONG time, and we just ran out of time to do Billy and Fitz. So, they've still got loaded pockets. For now. (Not that either one of them know what to do with their accessories!) You'll notice I spared you all the photos of Butthead getting snipped... *wink*
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.
Alan said that earlier today while I was in town the animals were all being crazy in the pasture. All of the excitement probably had something to do with sunshine, new hay, and apple treats. Let's just say that some of them were a bit more *excited* than others.
Finally, we're happy to introduce Fitz! Some of you caught on to our democrat naming convention. We've got donkeys named Hillary, Billy, Jackie, and now Fitz (for John Fitzgerald Kennedy). We think it's a fitting name! There were so many fabulous names suggested!! To go along with the democrat theme, I really liked "Oh" for Jackie's Oh, which was suggested by Julie E. from Waterboro, Maine.
We also have two old donkeys named Molly and Muffin, but they were named before they came to the farm. I'm sure if they needed names when they came here, they would have been given democratic names too. *grin*
Thanks to everyone who suggested names. We'll certainly keep track of all of your suggestions as there always seems to be something new that needs a name around here! For example, a little gray and white stray tom cat showed up last week and has decided to call the farm home. He's now known as Murphy. Just when we get the last wild cat fixed, another one shows up. Uninvited! Murphy's Law.
We're not sure if we've got a jack, a jenny, or a flying elephant at this point. At first we thought the baby might be a girl ... but, perhaps we were a bit, uh, premature in our judgment. Seems there might be a bit *more* *there* than we could see. And yet, we're still not sure. Sheesh... I never thought it would be so hard to tell. (And let me tell you just how funny I feel looking!)
Now that I think about it, maybe we should name it Wee One. *wink*
So, we're going to wait to decide on a name until we see some golden bio-activities before we confirm jack or jenny. Or flying elephant, for that matter.
How's this for a nice after-dinner post!
We woke up this morning to a new baby donkey on the farm! It's about TIME Jackie delivered! We've been expecting this donkey since the end of January! This baby looks ENORMOUS for only being a couple hours old! No wonder Jackie always looked wider than she is tall, with those long legs in her belly!
But FINALLY! A new baby! And a cute little girl, too! Now we've just got to come up with a name. Suggestions?
While I was out taking photos of the new donkey, I took a couple photos of other critters too. Remember Lefty the chicken? He (yup, a rooster) is still around, as well as lots of others. Lefty is ALWAYS the first chicken out of the barn when the door is opened in the morning. I just open the latch and step aside, because if I'm in the way of the opening, Lefty would run right into me. Crazy chicken. He spends his days with the other chickens eating grass in the barnyard.
She has gotten used to the chickens, and isn't afraid to explore the barnyard and pasture without Dixie by her side. She's got the sweetest face. In the morning sun her red highlights really shine.
I posted a few other photos from early this morning online as well. You can see them in my Farm Animals gallery on pBase. The first seven photos in that gallery are from this morning. Enjoy!