Thursday, March 31, 2022

Getting A Boost

A couple of days ago a heifer (yes, more heifer stories) calved at the top of a hill.  The calf ended up at the bottom of the hill.  When J found it, she was wet and a little weak.
You never know how good of a mom the heifer will be to start with so J didn't want to take a chance.  We mixed up another bottle of colostrum and headed out.  
We always try to get the calf to nurse first and have the esophageal feeder ready in case it doesn't.  Surprisingly, this one nursed to full amount from the bottle. 
Mom took over from there.

Wednesday, March 30, 2022

Donkey's Tail

Here is another installment of my current house plants, Donkey's Tail
Several years ago E was visiting my brother and came home with a start of this plant.  I was taking care of it for her but it was growing in a very lopsided manner which eventually caused its fall from the top of a bookcase.  It is very fragile and ended up in multiple pieces with hundreds of those little leaves striped off. 
I trimmed back her original plant and it did fine.  E now has it back in her possession.  I took all of the broken pieces, planted them and now have this.  I just recently had the inspiration to display it on this large candle holder.  It lost several leaves in the move.  I have those in pot trying to propagate another plant.  I think I will have to put the sprouting new plants into whatever pot I want them to stay in forever because there is no way to transplant this thing. 

Tuesday, March 29, 2022

Heifers, Never A Dull Moment

Another heifer calved the other evening.  We watched during dinner the calf's progress on getting up and trying to nurse. 
The only problem was the heifer wasn't letting it nurse.  She just wanted it to stay in front of her. 
It was pretty cold and windy and we were afraid that the calf might get chilled since it was starting to get dark.  
We opted for a powdered colostrum supplement instead of trying to get the pair up and to the barn.  He was pretty stout but refused to suck on the bottle.  So we ended up tube feeding him.  A good outcome,  the next day he was up and she was letting him nurse.  It's always something calving out heifers.  

Monday, March 28, 2022

Making A Safe Space

For some reason Zipper has not been getting on the deck.  This made me very happy to not have to worry about her chewing anything up.  That is until this weekend.  When I would catch her on the deck I would run out with a little whip and tell her to get off.  But I knew that was only a temporary solution.
Today, I worked on a more permanent solution.
I had an old crib that V didn't want to use because it a banned drop-side style.  I used one side of the crib, some hinges from some kitchen cabinets M and V tore out of one of their rentals, and some scrap wood.  I didn't want to attach anything to the siding and have since replaced the wood block with a brick to keep it from blowing open.  I am hoping the gap between the siding and the gate is big enough for Kit and too small for Zipper.  Time will tell.
Zipper doesn't look like she cares too much for it. 
But maybe it will be enough to stem her curiosity,
and protect the plants that I have been cultivating.  They have been in the garage out of reach from her chewing for the last 2 weeks.  The cedar Christmas tree proved to be a poor protector and Zipper managed to chew up 3 more plants.  Maybe this will be their new safe space. 

Sunday, March 27, 2022

Starting Spring Turnouts

The grass is starting to green up and the hay is getting low so J is starting to get some of the cattle turned out and off the dole.  
We rounded up this little group of 10 cows and 6 calves,
got them down off the hill and switched with the 53 head of yearlings in the background. 
Now the yearlings are off grain and the pasture they were on will have about 10 days to recover before we have to get the goats up to start kidding.  
The next day we worked the 6 calves.  Yes, that is Ralgro J is implanting.  We haven't been able to get it for several years but J found some the other day at Tractor Supply.  
M was helping us so J worked the head gate.  That just left me to preg check the cows. 
And V baby sat with Baby S.  
She loves being outside and around the animals.  Next, M and J loaded the cows and calve up to turn out on some rented land.  One more group to not have to feed. 

Saturday, March 26, 2022

Otoelene And Zipper

Earlier this week I took Otoelene out for a nice ride around the farm and let Zipper come with us.
Zipper behaved for the most part. 
She did find a piece of plastic to rattle and drag around.  Otoelene didn't care too much for this activity.  
We found a couple of new calves but kept our distance to not disturb the moms. 
And I even chanced going up Chaney Branch Road.  Fortunately, there were no cars, and no neighbors had let their dogs out.  A successful training ride for Zipper. And a relaxing ride for me and Otoelene. 

Friday, March 25, 2022

Flying Saucer Sighting

Right when we started attending a new church a couple of years ago, they had a falling out with the district leadership.  Long story but the congregation wanted to leave the Methodist church and buy the building.  The conference would not sell the building so the congregation left and met under a tent for several months until a church building was found to rent.  After a year of renting we were able to purchase the building.  Bet you are wondering how all that fits with a flying saucer. 
Well, there is lots of work and remodeling going on with the new church building.
These were the light fixtures.  Everyone referred to them as flying saucers.  When they replaced them there were lots of joking about how to get rid of them.  No one wanted them so I asked if I could have one.
They said sure.  But that generated more interest as to what I would be doing with one. 
I had not decided but was sure it would end up as some sort of yard art.  (Oh, and it came with a 1000 watt bulb.)  That is until I googled it and found a similar one priced at $1300.  Now I'm not so sure I can drill a hole in it to mount is upside down and set it outside.  Quite the quandary. 

Thursday, March 24, 2022

Calf Thief

With the first calf heifers right below the house, we can just look out the window and see a lot of what is happening out there.  Last night there was a heifer calving right out from the kitchen window.  We were able to watch her while eating dinner. Everything looked great until another heifer walked by with her calf.  The one calving decided she would rather have the one that was already here instead of waiting for her own, so she got up and took out after it.  
There was a lot of running around and jockeying for position.  She finally won.  The calf is laying in front of the one calving while her mother is standing off to the side.  Obviously, this won't do.  J and I went out to separate them.
Heading to the barn lot the calving heifer was still in charge. 
All of the running around and now the sound of the 4-wheeler got the yearlings in the next field all worked up too. 
J was on foot and did some fast sprinting. 
And we managed to get the one calving in a lot by herself.  She finally settled down and went back to work and had a nice bull calf after dark. 

Wednesday, March 23, 2022

Bad For Sale Pictures

V sent me this from an ad on Craig's list, 2 cows, 1 bull, 3 rams.
Technique number 1, take picture while driving down the road. 
My favorite, the optical allusion, have the cow appear to be standing on the gate. 
The standing on the deck looking down 10 feet shot. 
What's for sale here, the tire?
I still can't figure out what is happening with the sheep on the far left.  What is that thing its head is in?
Anyway, if you are interested the rams are $150 each and the 2 cows and 1 bull are $1500 for all three.  I can send you the link if you like. 


Tuesday, March 22, 2022

New Tagger

Tags are getting more expensive along with everything else.  I spotted a cheaper tag at Southern States the other day.  The old tags were 96 cents a piece and the new ones only 32 cents.  J decided to try it out. 
First though, our old tagger is a 2 piece system 

with a self piercing button that went from back to front.

The new one is one piece.
It goes from front to back.  Can you see there might be a problem with someone that has used the old system for several decades? 
Yes, he put it in backwards. 
Maybe there will be a short learning curve and that will be the only one.
Here is the blooper reel...


Monday, March 21, 2022

Just Kit #181

Baby S was taking a break from getting mauled by Zipper, to come in and have some quiet time with Kit Kat. 
For some reason she always wants Kit to get out of his bed. 
She even tried lifting him out but gave up on that idea pretty quickly. 
So then she started examining him. 
I'm pretty sure she was saying "ear" when she was touching his ear. 
And she was very interested in his paw. 
When he pulled it back she went digging back down there for it. 
Good thing Kit is a very gentle and cooperative cat. 

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