Saturday, March 28, 2009

This Quilter's Friend

Every quilter needs a friend. Mine is furry. She is soooooo helpful when a wall quilt needs to be changed behind the bed. She is helpful when the bed needs to be made. She is helpful for anything that involves the bed.

She just looked so cute when I threw the fall quilt off the wall, and it covered most of her since she was lying on the bed.

She is my helper girl even if it means being on a leash tied off in the barn while I do chores. She waits so patiently......and quietly. That is fantastic since my cocker spaniel would have barked her head off and lunged to get free to roam in the barn. Libby and Scooter would like to be free to roam in the barn, too, but they both wait patiently for me to do chores. Maybe they wait because we go for a walk when I am done, but do they really know that? Oh,.......if I only knew what they were thinking.

Friday, March 27, 2009

A Lady and Polka Dots

Some people have commented about how much work there is involved with calving. Well, it shouldn't be as much work as it is, but due to all kinds of problems which won't happen again, we ended up with all this work. We wouldn't normally have put the cows and their calves in the barn. BUT......the calves were born much tooooo early, and we need to ship the rest of our small herd. Now, what is left outside needs to be shipped except for one cow who did not get bred this time. soon as the boys and two cows that never did settle are shipped, everybody can go outside. I say, "The sooner, the better." There should only be one more calf, and we have that heifer in the barn already.

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This is today's calf. Isn't she quiet a lady. Now there are four girls out of eleven, two black and two red. Her mom is black and white. Doesn't she just look like a little girl?

The is One Dot. Mom is 1/2 Holstein, 1/2 Hereford. Dad is black with white belt.

This is Two Dot, yesterday's calf. Mom is black. Dad is black with white belt.

This is Hoppy. Mom is 1/2 Holstein, 1/2 Hereford. Dad is black with white belt.
He is the one without a tail. I think he could live in a place where he was alone or with one other cow. He wouldn't do well where he had to compete for food.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

The One that Got Away

As the dogs and I were going down the driveway this morning, we could hear a cow bellering. That was a familiar sound. To me it meant that her calf was somewhere she couldn't go. Well, I was right. Her calf was in the grass between the road and at the pasture. We got it back in. Of course, it was a bull calf, black with white face. When we returned from our walk, I put the calf back in the pasture for the second time. I "helped" him get almost up to the barn where I could make him a captive. We went through a second fence and were free of him mom. By the time that I had him almost up to the barn, she had gone around the fences and came storming up to us. Well, that was the end of me steering him to the barn. He got away. Jake will have to help with this one. I think he was born yesterday evening after dark because he was totally dry this morning and feisty as hell.

I think these sheep people should be impressed with my array of calf spots. How about the two spots on this guy's forehead. Isn't that a hoot? This bull sure throws a bunch of spots. Guess I could take some pictures and just do one post on spots.

I did, however, manage to accomplish something today. I happened to be looking out the kitchen window and see a heifer who is due to calf soon moving up to the lean to get a drink. I managed to get out there, chase another steer out of the barn, and shut a gate that will keep her in the barn. At least that calf will not have to be chased!!!!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

I'm an Old Cowhand..........

Notice that I didn't say that I'm a cowboy. This morning's calf is a heifer!!!!! She is red with just a white face. When I went out to check, there she was. As the only cowhand here, I managed to get her up to the lean with mom following and complaining. She is still wet and probably was less than an hour old when I found her. As you can see, mom and baby are tired and resting. Mom is close enough to keep licking. Baby is quite strong, she walked all the way up to the barn with me pushing from behind. (Sure glad I took a shower this morning before I went outside.)

Hopalong Cassidy is doing much better than I thought he would. He was the one born without a tail. The defect included his spine in some way because he is unsteady when he stands up and can't move his back legs independently. He hops. BUT.....can he motor. He does wind sprints up and down in the pen. You wouldn't know he was imperfect because, when running fast, those back legs act in unison. The problem will be what to do with him because he won't fare well in a large group of cows.

Tally: 6 and 3 at least 2 more expected

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Same old, same old

Presenting number eight. He is a real flashy little guy. Born yesterday to Poppy one of the original cows we brought up to this farm. She is a real good mom, and they are both doing fine. Count: 6 boys and two girls. That doesn't bode well for my lamb crop.

Hand is doing well. I took off the bandage/splint this noon. It is covered with the ace wrap and my old wrist brace from the drug store just to protect it. Minimal pain.

Main man is making a new place for my ewes in the front of the garage. Will document with pictures when it is finished. It was his idea and has something to do with having no room for the ewes in the barn for shearing. No room because the cows and calves are continuing to increase.

Friday, March 20, 2009

What a day!

Yes, the first day of spring. Also scheduled today was my surgery for carpel tunnel syndrome in my left wrist. So, I get up early because they said I could eat before 7:00 a.m., and I didn't want to miss a meal if I didn't need to. I eat breakfast and take care of the animals. Then †he phone rings. And what to my wondering ears should I hear, but the voice of my shearer. Knock me over with a feather. BUT.......what does he want? He wants to come here late afternoon about 5 or 6 to shear my sheep. Or maybe he might not come because his other job would be too much. Like........I don't think so. I told him about the surgery, and he still thought it could be done. Not possible. The sheep are outside; we might not even be home by then, he might not even come; we have a barn full of cows and calves. Need I continue. I called him back and told him it just couldn't be done today. That is the first time that a shearer has called me, and I had to refuse his offer to come at a certain time. He said next week or the week after. That would be better even though I will still have restraints on what I can do. He said his son would be with him to catch the sheep. It will have to be that way because I can't catch sheep until after the stitches are out on the 31st of the month. (and then I ain't so good at it anyway.)

Snowing out right now, but warmer weather is in the forecast. Good enough for me.

What a day!

Monday, March 16, 2009

Sitting with the sheep

It is so glorious outside today that I have been out sitting in the soupy sheep pasture. The girls are all happy to see me, and they got cookies and lots and lots of attention. I was even able to trim them up around their necks where their wool had felted and pick VM from everywhere and scratch them where ever I wanted. Of course, I look like I lost at mud wrestling because they keep putting their feet up to get my attention. Like I could forget that they are there.

Here we have Nutmeg, the famous flying sheep. She is obnoxious with her attention and has been know to shove her nose in my shirt pocket for cookies. Very pushy! for something new for this newbie Shetland person, I have a sheep that is in the roo. I don't know if you can see it, but she looks like she is wearing a clown collar now. She stared rooing up around the neck. It is really cool to someone who has never seen in before. Now I have learned something today, and I think I will take the rest of the day off.

This is Sugar. Not a very original name, but she looked like someone had sprinkled sugar on her head. Now it looks more like a blaze. She has probably never been in a blog post before. At two years old, I put her out for breeding. We will see. But the funny thing about her is that I wasn't able to even touch her for the first year of her life. She would just run from me when I came into the pen. Then suddenly at one year old, she decided I wasn't as bad as she had thought. Now........she is on me like three coats of paint. She is my newest bosom buddy. Can't you just tell what a love she is by the picture. It is like she was posing. She will be a great mom if she is prego. The two ewe lambs crowd around and act obnoxious. Sugar just creeps up to my side and stands next to me. What a love. And this year, I noticed that she has super long wool. It sure is interesting the differences in the fleeces on the animals.

And here is Pia, of the broken leg in October. It was the rear leg on the left side, and I am pleased as punch to say that she is doing just fine. Of course, she developed into a terrible pest with all that attention, but she may have arrived with some of it because Nancy admits that she was a favorite at Bluff Country.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Ain't Nuttin Pretty About This Post.....

Here are the last two calves that were born during the cold snap this week. At first the boy did not nurse, but seems to getting along fine now. Sorry they are such a mess. I will have to bring them into the house and give them a bath. OR.....I could just wash their jackets. Guess the jackets are keeping them somewhat clean besides keeping them warm.

This is Ling Ling because she was born soon after Bear, the Chinese Panda Bear calf. Did you get that? SHE is a heifer. Yahoo!!!! Only two heifers out of seven calves. I won't be going to Las Vegas soon or buying any lottery tickets. Why waste my money? You can tell by the red jacket that she is small.

This is Spot or Ike or Manx. I really haven't decided yet. He could be Spot because of the big spot on his nose. His mom throws calves with the wildest patterns on their heads. I was considering Ike until I noticed something else about his anatomy. I was considering Ike because he has "Tina Turner" legs. Boy is he tall. Or he could be Manx because he was born without a tail. What next? Guess he can get along without that part of his anatomy.

One thing about the calves born here, there ain't no two alike!!!


Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Another way to enter the real world........

Introducing....... High Ridge Hsing-Hsing Panda Bear (guess I have been reading tooooo many sites with dog pedigree names). aka......Bear (There are pictures at the end)

Here is how he entered our world.........After chores last night I made my nightly check on the cows to see how they were doing. I had checked Bear's mom in the morning, and she was fine. Last night about 5:00 p.m. she was separated from the herd and mooing. After a couple seconds, I realized that was the moo I had heard before when a cow and calf had become separated. Oh, shoot, she must have had the calf, and it had escaped through the fence. The calf was no where in sight, and I figured it had laid down and froze when it wasn't by its mom. I started following its tracks since there was still some snow out there. I kept following until I was quite a way from the fence out in an alfalfa field. There in the distance barely visible, because of the fog we had yesterday, was the shape of a calf on its feet. Well, that was good. I went back to the barn told Jake and got a rope and halter and my stick. THEN I trudged out into the field which was alternately wet snow and standing water. Jake came out on foot and the calf was not cooperative. We got the rope halter on him, and I waited for Jake to come back with the truck. He came back with my golf course maintenance cart. We got Bear in the back of the cart and splashed toward his mom. Luckily she followed us up to the barn and into a pen. (There was a lot more to it than that.)

We were all cold and wet. Bear was wet. Mom wasn't licking him. She was hungry.
They were both in a better place than outside. We left her to take care of him.

I was too tired and cold last night to take pictures. Bear looks much better this morning. He was dry when I went into the barn, but I couldn't tell if he had eaten. The temperature was about zero degrees. I went into the house and got some milk and a jacket. After I got the jacket on him, I convinced him to try the bottle, and he proved that he knew how to suck on that. Not long after that, I let him go to his mom --like I could stop him. He attached himself to the milk bar and began wagging his tail furiously, so I knew that he had made the proper connection

Bear and his mother in the proper position for mother and new born son. He is also properly dressed for the month of March in Wisconsin.

Just another day in Paradise. P.S. The cart does not move this morning. It starts, but I am sure all the water from last night has frozen something. Besides the fact that it is standing in water which is frozen now, of course.

Sunday, March 08, 2009

Pictureless Sunday

There are no pictures today because no one would want to see what is happening around here. ICE!!!!! Jake had to go in to work through all of this, and I will just stay in the house until evening chores. The little girls are in their ramshackle shed, and I hope they stay there. Everyone else has shelter, and if they know what is good for them, they will go in and stay in!

Enjoy your day. Hope your weather is better than ours!

Saturday, March 07, 2009

Happy sheepie girls

This afternoon, I put the ewe lambs back outside. They were happy, to say the least.
After a little pushing and shoving, they started their engines and began the time trials.

Ami, in back, and her daughter, Lucy, stood and watched mostly, but I did see Ami get in one small leap. She has to remember her position as the "grande dame" of the flock.

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This picture shows the girls just one second after the starter's gun went off for the next heat. They did a bunch of running and jumping since they had been cooped up for a long time. Sugar joined in and got a "10" on "standing jump with 90 degree turn in the air". She was having a good time with those ewe lambs. Pia didn't win anything except "most improved" considering that in October she broke her left back leg. She did favor it once in a while, but still could put on some speed and an occasional leap.

This is odd looking, but it is Meg in the air as she went flying across the pasture.
She won that heat.

Baby Kitty just wanted to be with the sheep even though the sheep didn't really appreciate her. They tended to butt at her, and she hissed and swatted at them.

Well, Baby Kitty decided that maybe things were safer on top of a fence post for the time being.

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Dusty, Lefty, and Herbie

Jake is still off work. He took a week of vacation to try to improve the arm and shoulder pain. Today he is working on getting water to flow to the back of the barn so that I don't have to carry pails to the maternity ward. I had to add a twist by telling him that one of the other cows is in the process of producing our fifth calf this afternoon. Weather is much better today. No sun, but warmer.

This is Herbie. He may have been slow getting into this world, but he is making up for it now. He is in the middle of the barn and able to sneak through the bars and walk and run around a large area. He has found a place to sleep up by the sheep that seems to suit him. Sure wish he had been a heifer because he is just adorable.

This is Dusty. There is nothing unusual about him except his mother doesn't like me very much. I don't go in by those two.

This is the youngest, Lefty. He was smaller than the others, and we had to buy him a new jacket that was smaller. The black one just fell off of him.

There will be more soon. Our second red and white is in the process. Our job will be to get her into the barn after the calf is born.