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Friday, May 29, 2009

Evening chores with Popcorn Shower!!

Just at milking time...we made it to the barn and were trapped for a time...

Witha nice view of a full rainbow.

Followed up with a nice tall brewsky on the deck with a gorgeous thurnderhead heading love those evening showers!!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Bag of Bones father..."bless his heart"...I just love it when he calls and says, " Ok...I got something for you". First thing a person asks is...Is it Free!!??? Now my Dad lives some 45 minutes aways and mentally still tackles all sorts of things, but it is his children who actually do the project he wants tackled..he is the Boss of making his interest ours. So he calls and he knew we were heading to the cemetary this weekend and we would be gone for the entire day. He was bringing up another "special needs" calf. He tells me that the rancher who likes to sell me his extra calves has another freebie. I needed another project..but what the heck..I have 3 extra to feed so why not??!! I asked if he could wait a day since I needed to help him and assess the project. He tells me "NO"!!! It needed fed and fed right away.."Oh Oh" I am thinking. So what, Dad, is the story!'s about a month old, ( now that is pretty big for my father to handle I think) and it's Momma has been trying to die for a while now. It hasn't been eating well at all. When Dad went to get it, he said the Cow was extremely thin and the calf was right with her also looking extremely thin. Not sick, just that the Momma didn't have the milk to feed herself and a baby proper. Then Dad told me the rest of the story..You see the Rancher is also close to 70 and my father getting closer to 80. They are riding a Mule (4 wheel kind) the two of them out into the pasture. My Dad and the rancher have to snag the calf from the Cow and haul it back to the vehicle. I see it now the two slow moving men...are wrangling calves from a protective Angus. He Dad that is and also the calf. I had my neighbor boy go over and try to feed it while I was gone and then a good set of friends checked on and fed calves for me for the evening feeding. Everyone was telling me that calf was awfully big and the neighbor boy had told me it tried to "hook him" when he entered the pen ..saying he was "mean"!! By midnight I got home and the first thing I do...with alot of apprehension...was make a bottle and run in and see if I could get it to eat. I guarded the bad foot and entered pen...carefully...well....he is extremely thin. He was big boned but actually not that hard to handle and backed him into a corner. He took the milk like it was the best thing in the world. I used some whole Jersey milk for that feeding. By morning, he was licking his lips when he saw me. He hasn't missed a feeding for the weekend and I am showing the before photo here. Definitely a bag of bones!! I will show a better photo in a few days. After just a day, I am really noticing the difference already this morning. Wish I had taken a better photo the first day now!!

Friday, May 22, 2009

Just in time!!

I was worried about one of my first time mom-to-be's and noticed her trying to find a private spot to lay down this morning. I had to go to work and get a few things done and she looked like it was going to take a little time yet, so headed in. I didn't stay long and headed home around 10, just too nervous about leaving one unattended. Got home to see her laying flat out and straining. It looked like her water had broken within the last half hour and no feet showing. I paced a bit and she got up and down a couple more times. Within half an hour I saw feet and no nose,,so waited a time and could see she was just having alot of trouble with the size of this one. Called the son....who came out within 10 minutes and between the two of us...we managed to get the head to shift and out. Big Bull calf and all is well. Now I have pettable cows and noticed she was already talking to her baby before it was born and she should of been used to me. All that time we were all over her pulling and getting the afterbirth on me...but....after she stood and had 10 minutes of cleaning already into it, she took a look up at me and without any "Thank You for Saving my Baby" she put her head down to give me the "Get back or I will knock you into next Week" snort. Man...those new Mommas can be something now can't they!!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

I need a vet!!

Sunday was a gorgeous day!! Put the horses out on pasture, then used Bobcat and cleaned corral and took from the compost pile a dozen loads of good dirt. Retilled all into the garden then planted tomatoes and put up a fence around it. I needed to get the goats moved to a large green area and as I did that, they all got a dose of wormer and a little pour-on and a toe manicure. I was pushing the envelope by 8 that evening. I wanted the horses back into the corral area and headed their way with a large 5 gal of crack corn ( as I am visualizing a really cold Bud). Milk cow saw me and came running behind me so I vaulted over the hay rack,,(well as much as a 50 yr old can vault) with the corn in one arm,,I swung it over first making sure to not let her get her head in the bucket and not lose a kernel. I came down like a bag of cement..on side of foot. Crack, snap and pop and next I knew,,I was reaching for my handy cell phone in pocket, after the white light had faded or course...calling son who was outside working on boat only a few hundred steps away. He showed up to escort me to golf cart which was waiting and I crawled my way up stairs into house. I wasn't going anywhere until I took a shower, then headed to the hospital. Well..all is better and I have no broken bones, just a good job on an ankle sprain! Anyone got any suggestions to make it heal faster??? like a week or so??? I got stuff to do!!!

Friday, May 15, 2009

babys first shoes! was ready. Took him home at noon and took a couple of photos. Looks good, he is rocking on his back legs like he should and will be kicking up his heels before I know it. He added a sort of cement type extention to the hoof while adding a stint in the heel of the foot, which is pushing the hoof straight.

Wish now, I had taken a video of the way he walked before and then get one in a few weeks to remind me the difference. I was worried the stretching would be painful and cause him to not want to stand again for a few days, but it seems the opposite, he has better balance and has quite forgotten he has an abnormalty...Looks Good...and in the first photo, I think he is still trying to cause me least he doesn't weigh that much.....yet!!

...but it's free!!!

Got a call several days ago, about a calf. I am a sucker for a trouble case. It was a freebie and it will be delivered..oh ...oh...I thought. Now, I have wised up a bit in the last several years on those freebies and wondered, Do I have the time right now??? I hesitated and hesitated just a little too long. Baby was on it's way. I took one look and that is one "hard luck case". Not only were it's feet deformed, it was not eating. Now that is going to take some work. I was pretty uncommitted the first evening, thinking that getting attached was going to be a heartbreaker. But by morning, I dived in and worked like crazy trying all the tricks to get it to suck. By day 3, I maybe, had managed to dribble about half a gallon of milk into him. He would suck once,,then let it drizzle down his throat. No will to live! Calves like that are pretty hard to convince. I doubt that he had ever nursed at all and it was a day old when I got him. He was fastly loosing his strength and will. On day 4, I got up and decided it was time to tube feed him. So tubed a bottle of pure goat milk down him in the morning. That late afternoon after work, I walked in with a half a bottle to try one more time and see if he would ever learn to eat! I put the head lock on him while straddling him and forced the bottle one more time. It happened..he took off with a few slow slurps then it kicked in. Pure aggressiveness and not coming up for air. He inhaled the first half a bottle like a pro and I quickly ran to the house to fix another half bottle of milk. I was back in a flash and he clamped on and was drinking madly, with me of course still having him in a head lock to make sure he stayed on task, when, it happened...he gave me one of those head butts that says, make it come faster...I WANT IT FASTER!!! It was my own fault, I took it in the chin, and tasted blood. I have knocked my teeth into my lip before, but not quite that hard that I saw stars. I could feel it swelling while he drained the last of the bottle. It hurt so bad I didn't have a thought to even that smarted.

Now it has been a couple of days and he is eating like a normal calf with plenty of energy. So had scheduled a Vet trip, and took him in to see if they can pull the front hooves straight. Now , my vet is also a very close neighbor and knows me very well..and only smiled when I took in baby with a bottle marked for the next feeding and temperature of milk he likes. (I only added the temperature for the "over the top" effect.) He laughs but truly enjoys my efforts in caring for my critters and took a look to say, Hey now, I think that is pretty fixable, not bad at all he tells me....Well...I am pretty anxious to see the "After" results. I will post those photos tomorrow...with his orthopedic shoes..

Friday, May 8, 2009

a learning experience

I loaded two of my Fall calves and took to sale last night. Well, actually, I was trying to load my fall calves for sale, while I had the steer loaded the heifer calf got a different idea. She escaped me several times and by the time I was ready to load the rifle, I decide it is time to call the neighbor. Now he is a rancher himself, but also, on weekdays he works the Sale Barn. He was on call last night for unloading trucks for Fridays(todays) sale. I had gotten a call from him around 5:30 before supper and he knew I was loading a couple of calves to take in and he said to just give him a call when I wanted to head in. I thought he would just as well ride with me into town and by the time I was struggling with the calves to load, I thought he could perhaps help me to loadtoo? He was over pronto and with the help of him and an extra panel, we finally had her loaded up. We head in. Now we weren't thinking about the possibility of trucks waiting for him in town, as random ranchers are bringing in livestock for the next days sale. He leaves his number on the wall and the routine is a seller will call him and he scoots to town. We got there and unloaded and as we where about to load up for home, in drives a convoy of semi trucks. He tells me,,it could be a while now. I offer my help in pushing any cattle up the alleys to holding pens. The calves were no problem and unloaded quickly and escorting them to pens was a cinch. If you have ever been to the stockyards of an Auction Barn, it is an amazing maze of alleys and escapes and gates and pens. You can get lost in the alleys at this one, as it's the largest in the State. The last of the trucks were unloaded and it was getting dark, but we see one more pickup pulling in. It has a long fifth wheel trailer and it looked pretty loaded. The cowboy got out and he has just 4 to unload. I was standing in the alleys when he noted and told me to get up on the fence. I was quick to comply. I don't work there you see..just helping..don't expect miracles here I assure him. He let the back of the trailer open...out walk to nice young yearling calves. Not huge, but possibly around 800 lbs. I was thinking he must of thought I was some sissy or something...those were not a threat...when I note the trailer is rocking...fur sticking out at all spots..and beginning to wonder if he was carrying Buffalo. He told me to get over the rail now. I scrambled...he fought with the outside latch to get the middle gate of the trailer open and finally says he is going to grab something to give it a nudge and heads to cab of pickup. Thats when the gate sprung with the trailer bouncing. Honestly, I don't know how he kept that pickup on the road with that much weight. He was huge!! Looked like over a ton!! When he entered the unload area, it took up all the space. My neighbor who was on the job, took charge and sprang into action moving him up the alley a bit. The other boy who was still in the trailer was wanting his door open and as the Cowboy was flipping the latch to let him out..the big brute did it himself and the gate crashed open and in an instant the next boy was out. Now, I have been ringside and watched some big bulls enter the arena, but this boy was enormous and up close and personal, I can only wonder how those Cowboys would ever want to ride one of those beasts. Now, I didn't want to sound like a City Girl and was trying to come up with something to say that was respectful of his livestock, so I say, "I suppose you raised him from a bottle baby?" He smiled and told me.."yup...he was the runt of the litter!"

Thursday, May 7, 2009 I think someone is laughing's just not me right now!!

So, I have this plan this summer. 1. Build a barn/workshop.
Which requires much planning and zoning and calling people and finding the requirements.
I called the One Call Center, the one where you let them know you will be digging. I talked with "Noel" who was quite rude, amazingly rude and short with comments and completely disliking her job and People! Any answer I gave to her was replied with short and impatient statements. She was very sarcastic about finding our place, which is not hard to find, actually it is right beside a highway. Easy,,but there is a difference with North and South around here and I wanted to make sure she understood we were North. She argued all the directions as she was looking at...not a google map but "Their" own special map and it did not show me there!! I was very polite and patient and just let her snap at me. I kept repeating to did say this conversation was being recorded at the beginning of the automated call, before I was directed to her. So,,,I finally snapped at the end and Say" YOU, HAVE A GOOD DAY! I was pissed now.
I hung up and think, and decide to find the comment center and leave a negative. I called and couldn't contact a representative to talk to directly and decide to look up the contacts on the internet. I find it is directed and handled by our State REA Board, so go there. I find the president of the board and email a comment..stated much like this..
I have a compaint regarding the One Call Center.
"First I do realize that probable calls of individuals can be complicated and hard to understand. Dealing with information the operator must collect can be frustrating.
I called this morning to establish a time to locate at my residence.
I spoke with "Noel" , she was abrupt and very impatient with answers.
I was prepared with information required but her attitue and replys were very rude and she obviously is tired of her job.
I am giving you my confirmation # and request you look into the recorded conversation.
If I were an older individual with complicated situations, it would of been a nightmare.
Her replies were tactless and unnessecary.
Please accept this complaint as an opportunity for improvement.
Thanks ( and included my phone number for contact)"

OK now, a few days later, I get a call from a supervisor.
She started by saying she reviewed the tape and was "Horrified" she also Apologized profusely and was just simply and absolutely Horrified..repeating that several times.
I was quiet. I thanked her for her time and said I hoped they could rectify the problem.
She replied saying she was afraid of the confrontation with this girl herself..which made me snort. Now come on, can you believe a supervisor would be afraid of an employee?? or are they that short handed?? Wow...I just said Thanks for your time, and wonder if it was followed up.

The Rest of the story.

Ok, Erin....she is a sweetheart...she is a helper...She is handicapped...! She is home while I am at work with two other siblings. One is 26the other is 24. Someone is always there. Although Erin is not physically handicapped, her condition puts her around the sometimes 4 yr old mentality and then hops around at 30 yrs old. She is simply Erin!!
Well,,I was milking the cow last night and resting my cheek on Maples soft fur with the sun beating down. Erin helps me, by watching and petting stuff and hanging out. She is incredibly good at picking up all loose string and wrap from bales and broken pieces of wood and any other thing that may seem like garbage.
She walked by the fence and I see she is taking things to the trash. A bundle of things...ARRRRGGGHHH!!! EEEERRRRRIIINNN!!!
She has pulled all the flag markers from the acreage....ALL of them.!!!
The call I had made brought the Electric company and they had marked the lines...The Water was marked...the phone lines ...marked...the gas line marked!! Now all the flags are resting in a pile on my front steps!!
Well,,,would anyone want to Call the Center for me...her name is NOEL!!!

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Not so Hired Hands..

My two daughters were helping me outside. I mostly have them fill water tanks and help with baby goats and calves. I was moving a bale of Oats hay out of the feeder and wanted to put a bale of Alfalfa in the rack. I had asked the girls to pull the net wrap from under the pile of loose...well mostly loose..straw. It was a two girl job....and after watching them struggle for a bit...I decided it was a good photo opportunity. Wish I had the camera out when I was trying to convince Erin to get on the Golf Cart and steer while I pushed it back up to the house with the Bobcat. I had her on the cart for about 3 secs....once...and she baled off after I had pushed it for about 5 feet. Was pretty comical, as Colin had stopped what he was doing outside and Nicky stopped in her tracks, just watching to see if Erin really would do it. You see...Erin is a very sturdy girl...but is...well..Erin!!

Monday, May 4, 2009

Promote the Goat!!

City-Wide Weekend Sale and I knew there was going to be alot of people out to compete with at our garage sale.

So I did many many signs...nothing like good advertising gimmick!!

I got this idea and took 4 babies into the sale with 1 who is leash trained but also a big Pet! She was my "Show Goat" !
Well... boy did I get the smiles from people. I had carloads of people with kids and could of made some money if I had charged for a picture of their kids holding a baby. Sure put people in a smiley mood! Then again 70 degrees and perfect weather helps!
It worked well and I even sold a couple. They aren't weaned yet and will be another month before they can have them but I sure did promote the Goat!