Friday, April 30, 2010

Wash Day

The terminal steer show is next week but the neighboring county is having a show tomorrow. Counting our 4 there should be 9 at the show. We thought we would go ahead a wash them this afternoon. The weather was perfect, 80 degrees and sunny.
The biggest problem is that we don't have running water at the barn so we had to lead all of the animals up to the house. Even though the horses live with cattle they seemed very confused that we were leading them. They started trotting around like Arabians and ran off.
I think they all enjoyed the bath.
V worked hard on scrubbing hers.
There's a heifer show also, so she gets a bath too. E was on a 3 day school trip to Washington D.C. so she missed out on all of the fun. J and I worked on her steers. I'm sure she will be in good spirits at the show tomorrow after not having any sleep for 3 nights.
Hope they are not too dirty in the morning.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010


Today has been rainy, windy and cold. It has been in the 40's all day. So to brighten the day I have some flower pictures from the yard.
J said no one would know what this was without showing the whole flower.
It was a tulip, just a different variety than these.

I cut some lilacs to bring into the house. Jessica was at the fence so I thought I would let her smell them. But being a horse she tried to eat them.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

No, It's Not Dead

Our last two nannies have kidded. Tickle, one of E's pet goats, kidded Friday afternoon. A pet goat is one that was bottle raised. Only these and their offspring get names.
This morning J brought one of her twins to the house looking like this. It is not unusual for one to get chilled and crash. It rained last night so that could have contributed to the crash.
The biggest thing is to get them warm. I washed the mud off and toweled him dry. I then tube fed him some milk replacer and placed him on a heating pad and in front of an electric heater. After a few rotations he was ready for the green bucket while we went to church.
When we got home he was strong enough to stand. I tube fed him again before lunch.
Emma had to perform her nursing duties before I could take him back to Tickle.
Luckily, she took him right back and he has nursed several times this afternoon and evening. Hopefully, all will be well in the morning.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Road Crew

There are always numerous odd jobs to do on a farm. The ones that usually get done are because of necessity.
This collapse over a culvert is a prime example. The road was wide enough for the truck, but we also park the trailers back here. The trailers would run over the hole.

There were some discarded bridge timbers behind the shed. J drug them out and pulled the nails.
They worked nicely over the hole except for the change in height.
We scavenged some gravel to level it up.
Now we can pull the trailers in and out without too much worry.

Friday, April 23, 2010


We moved the kids out of the nursery today. Hopefully they are big enough now to keep up with the nannies.
I think they were ready to explore some new territory. We left 2 nannies that look close to kidding in the lot.
We banded the male goats before turning them out.
It seems to have made them a little uncomfortable for the time being. The puppies were happy to be with the kids again but I didn't get a picture. I was too busy trying to keep the overly exuberant 90 pound paws from crushing the goats.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Getting Ready

The steer and heifer show is only 2 weeks away.
J had been getting the girls to work with the cattle almost daily now. The boys are all doing well. They all stand tied, lead and set up.
E still fusses about this project. She would really rather show horses than steers. It doesn't help that we do all this work for just one show which the steers don't get to come home from.
We only had one heifer nice enough to show this year so V is working with her. She has only been halter broke for about 2 weeks but is doing as well as the steers. Friday we will have some help getting everyone clipped.

Monday, April 19, 2010

April Flowers

Here are a few of the flowers that we have been enjoying in the yard this month.
The Yoshino Cherry trees were particularly pretty this year.
I've had several varieties of daffodils blooming.
The purple leaf plum both looks and smells wonderful.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

4-H Arena Day

The 4-H horse club had an open arena at the local fair grounds for their monthly meeting today. It was cool and breezy and when we got there we discovered that the ring had been worked on and half of the fence was gone. However, the footing was good albeit a little dusty. We decided to take Pep and Jessica and stopped by a friend's house to pick up her horse Iney. Iney is a 16.3 Hand 4yr old QH mare that V might show some this summer. She was a little hesitant to load but did well considering she was getting on a trailer with 2 strange horses and Jessica was pawing and beating the sides of the trailer.
The owner lounged and road Iney for an hour before V rode. She was looking very good by this time. She went both ways and picked up her leads and kept her head down for the most part.
V mostly rode Jessica who did well also. She actually went slow by Jessica's standard.
E pretty much hasn't been on Pep since the state show in September but she was the same as always, well maybe a little uppity because E could get her to lope without a whip. All in all a successful warm up before show season.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Cattle Working

Today we worked the fall calves.
There are about 40 cow/calf pairs in this herd.
We have built a lot of cross fencing on this farm but the pens are 20 years old. J always has to reinforce everything with panels.
A lot of twine is involved also.
However, this particular gate J decided the twine wasn't enough so he reinforced it with a chain.

Sorting the cows out went smoothly, we were only working the calves and deworming the bred heifers.
After we sorted, the panels were moved to help out in another section of the pens.
J implanted the steers while I vaccinated the calves.
E helped out with the deworming. For once everything went smoothly and nothing broke. We had 2 to dehorn. I never really like that job much. At least I can do a nerve block which helps some. I'll spare you the pictures of this procedure.

Friday, April 16, 2010


I'll spare the details and just say we had a cow lose a calf.
J drug it to the barn with the truck so the cow would follow.
Next, he had to drag it by hand to get her into the barn. Once again, without any further details, we took the hide from the dead calf and made a little jacket for the twin we have been bottle feeding.
I think you can imagine a lot of different captions for this picture. But because neither one knew quite what to do in this situation, we had to put the cow in the chute to get things started.
Once the calf figured out where breakfast was coming from he wasn't any trouble. We turned them back out together and by the afternoon the cow seemed to have adopted the calf. We have tried different techniques to graft calves onto cows but this has always worked the best for us. Tomorrow we'll take off the jacket.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

For Sale (maybe)

We have been thinking of selling Thumper. We got him originally for J to ride but he just doesn't have the time. I have been working with him for the last few days and took some pictures just in case we decide to advertise him. He actually looks pretty good and if I work with him enough to be able to sell him I might as well keep him because by that time he would be better than anything we could replace him with. Why does everything have to be so complicated.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Preg Check

I still do a little large animal work but J is my only client. He is good to not over tax my arm. He usually only needs me to preg check a few cows each year. He had 2 for me today. One heifer that was bred and a cow which was open.
I still look official in my green vet coveralls.
Notice the pursed lip technique. There is not much worse than manure in your teeth and with all of this new green grass there was plenty of watery green stuff.
The new chute worked well, it even has a little gate for me to get behind the cattle. I didn't get hurt so I considered it a successful day.
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