Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Try This

Try this:


Maybe this will work better.

Wool Wax

This morning while hunting for the product Wool Wax, I came upon an informational web article about wool. It is not inspirational unless you are a "wool fiber nut" like I am. It was just some more fuel for the fire in my case because it "sang the praises" of wool. If there was more information like this that everyone could assimilate, maybe there would be a larger market for wool.


I still need to find some Wool Wax for my dry skin. It would be fun to try the recipe in the article, too. I have wondered for a long time how to extract the lanolin from wool especially when I had a Rambouillet and a Corriedale.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Then there were four......

I just went out to check how everyone was doing this afternoon about 2:00. There she was laying down and pushing. We barely had time enough to round up a few gates so that we could keep her in the lean. Not long after we had her contained, she gave birth to another bull calf. There must be some reason for this. He was quite active after his birth, and right now, she is still licking and trying to dry him. I haven't seen him nurse, yet. I will keep going out there every so often until I have observed him getting some nourishment. Then I will be reasonably sure that he will make it through the night. I guess I will have to get a jacket on him, too, but I don't know when that will happen.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Oh, What a Beautiful Morning!

"Oh, what a beautiful morning,
Oh, what a beautiful day,
I have a wonderful feeling,
Everything's going my way." Maybe not everything, but it feels like it!

I know, I am old, but it is better than the alternative. This song from "Oklahoma" came into my mind because of how happy I am this morning. It has been a powerful long time since I felt this happy, and I like it. I noticed yesterday, I was singing, that was odd.

We have snow this morning, so what? It is winter, so what? It is cold, so what? The sun isn't out, so what? THE CALF IS NURSING!!!! That is the first time since he was born early Monday morning. Last night, I told Jake that I was afraid we were going to lose him.

This morning at 4:00, after my futile attempt to bottle feed him, he walked up to him mom and started "the head butt thing" after he had literally walked underneath her. She was OK with it and he was OK with it. She had been real shy of the nursing thing. All of this time, she had been by his side. She hadn't rejected him. When I went out again at 8:30, there he was nursing.

Yes, the little guys are all dressed up for the prom. We used to raise bull calves that we bought from farmers at about 2 days old. We had calf blankets for them, so now these little guys get to wear them, too. Neither of the boys have names, yet.

How Sweet It Is!!!

This is calf number three. I didn't know for sure what color he was until I looked at this picture. I thought he was black although when I took the picture this morning, I questioned his color. I think he is a brownie. He is getting a lot of attention because the pen he is in with his mother is next to where all the other cows come up to get water and to nibble on some hay. Nice noses, huh?

This is Fuzzy and Lovey. Lovey is one bouncy little babe! Although I couldn't catch it on camera, she was busy eating hay while I was in the barn when she stopped running and bouncing full speed around the pen.

Monday, February 16, 2009

And Then There Were Three..............

When I got home from my dentist appointment about 1:30 this afternoon, I saw one cow standing off from the others. I walked out to check on her and, what do you know, there was a calf. It didn't even belong to the cow I was checking. It belonged to a heifer. We are just in the house having gotten mom and calf, a bull calf, into the lean-to on the barn which Jake finished repairing about an hour ago.

The new calf is nursing, thank heaven. Holly's calf is not. We have tubed it with colestrum and about a quart of milk replacer tonight. Holly is sticking by its side and licking, but "here ain't no nursing happenin!!" That is trouble since the calf does not want to suck.

No pictures of the new calf. He is all dirty because his mom dragged him all over the pasture before we got them into the barn. Maybe he will clean in the new straw in the lean-to.

Oh, yeah, hope that goat in Iowa has triplets so she can keep up with us here in Wisconsin.

Oh, darn. It's a boy!

Here is the picture of the bull calf that was born about 4:00 this morning. It was a long labor, and it wasn't easy. And.....I missed the actual birth. I had been out there since 12:15 when I woke up and decided to check on Holly. When I got out there, the real part was just starting, and the water sac showed up quite soon after. Then it took until 4:00 for the calf to be born. I kept watching, saw something, saw a foot, saw feet and tongue, and could almost see the nose. Then I went outside to do some work for a second time. When I went back in to check, there he was. Holly was quite weak. It took her a while to get up and start licking. The baby took about an hour to get up on his feet. It is two hours later now, and he hasn't nursed yet. Still have that to worry about.

More later.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Fuzzy and Lovey

I am pretty sure that Lovey is aptly named. She is up and nursing and leaping about in her pen. Unfortunately, her mother, Fuzzy, seems to be almost leaping about now, too. She is not happy around people, and she does the the bull thing---flinging bedding all around the stall with her front feet-- whenever one of us gets too close. She is very protective. The sheep seemed to be entertained by the new creatures bunking with them.

Holly is totally swollen on her backside and has teats that are starting to point outward. Today she is swatting flies with her tails periodically. That is just fine, but there are not any flies in the barn. Could that mean that contractions are starting to happen inside of her? I sure hope so. She doesn't move very well anymore. She sort of lumbers around the pen. However, she is still eating whatever she can find. Oh, well, got to wait and see.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Lovey, I think.

When you aren't looking, all kinds of things can happen. When we went for breakfast, we saw a cow out in the fence line brush. Unusual. When we can back, she was still there and on closer inspection, she had a calf with her. We went out with our Toyota pickup and put the calf in the back with me and hoped the cow would follow. After several tries at that, we gave up even though we had the help of all the others cows.

When we drove out there again, not in the pasture, she was all alone, and she decided to come up to the barn. We had left the calf in a pen in the barn. With a little coaxing we got her into an enclosure, but she won't go into the barn. I am happy with that for now.

Lovey, I was feeling her up as we were bouncing along in the back of the pickup, is a heifer, real lively, and appears healthy. Her mom was not a heifer. If I am right, the new calf will be called Lovey in honor of Valentine's Day.

Still waiting on Holly, Claire.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Famous dog (not really)

If I had known, I would have made Libby sit with me on the couch and watch her relative, Sax, compete at Westminster. Sax's parents were Libby's grandparents on her father's sid. Thanks to Wisconsin Collie Puppies for showing me how to find Sax's pedigree. There was even one dog on Libby's mother's side that the two dogs had in common.

I do not think I will mention this to Libby because I do not want her to feel tooooo special for fear she will take it out on me and make me take her outside in the bad weather for some "exercise".

The Big Ugly

The dogs thought that it was windy out this morning. On the dog note, Sax, a blue merle collie won best of breed at Westminster yesterday and then went on to take third in best of group in the evening. Why do I mention it, you ask? Sax was bred by a vet at the animal hospital where Libby's Florida mom, Suzy, practices. The dogs could even be distant relatives since they have the same prefixes on their names. But, not being a dog person, I don't really know what that means. AND.....maybe, Libby's dad is one of Cindi's dogs. Close enough for me to feel some affinity for that beautiful furry collie dog.

As you can see in the picture, this time of year is "U... G... L... Y.....You ain't got no alibi." (Sorry an old cheer from years of watching high school football, snuck into my mind.) It is true, however. This kind of weather is ugly. I happened to catch the weather station device that we have up here this morning when the wind speed registered 56.3 MPH. Now that is a real gust. While I was feeding the sheep, I had to hang on the fence wire because there was wet ice underfoot. Oh, yes, the temperature is 42 degrees. I think I enjoy the weather station that I bought for my DH more than he does. He is the one with the weather obsession because he is a mechanic for the LaCrosse highway department.

A calf on Saturday could be named Valerie for Valentine's Day. No, there is no calf yet. It could be that Holly is just enjoying that big pen and no competition for food that she has now. Maybe she isn't prego.

Sunday, February 08, 2009

Holly at the Hilton

Holly has moved up from Motel 6 to the Hilton. We got the barn cleaned out so that she could use it as a maternity ward. We were so worried that it would be difficult to get her into the barn proper, and she just followed the lane we had set up like it was something she did every day.

I hope that she won't mind having a few friends stay over because there at least three other cows who will deliver soon. Our next trick is to get them into the barn. For right now, we will just be glad that we got the barn cleaned and Holly moved.

Of course, she was waiting for a better place to give birth. Now, she can have that calf any time that she wants. On Wisconsin!

Friday, February 06, 2009

"Just Stringing Us Along......"

It was all timing. Holly was showing a string this morning before we went for breakfast. I saw it with my own eyes. I even made her turn around to be sure of what I was seeing. When we came back, it was no where to be seen. Maybe we are making some progress.

This is my "bird sanctuary". I know it isn't cool, but it makes me happy because I can see it out the "postage stamp" window which is in front of my sink. The other night I remarked to my DH that I wished I would have a different bird at the feeders. Well, last evening there it was. I even had to get out the bird books to identify it. I don't recall seeing it before although I probably have. It was a nuthatch. There probably won't be any pictures of it because it flits and snatches and flits away. I would never get a picture of something that moves that fast.

This picture does not do Fuzz Nutless justice. He is in the middle. The other two are Mom, gray, and Puff, yellow, mother and son. You really can't tell that Fuss Nutless is twice the size of either of the others. He is also twice as ornery although he gets along with Mom.

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Ain't Nuttin' Private?

The pictures aren't that great. (Blame it on Rayna.) Holly is in a difficult spot to take photos. Does this help any of you cattle people decide when the moment will be?

Maybe I will try again later.

Challenge.....Iowa vs. Wisconsin

I am throwing down the gauntlet. It is Stuffin versus Holly. Who will give birth first, goat or cow? Claire, if you read this and accept the challenge, you will have to help me think of a fitting prize for this contest. It just occurred to me when I went out to check on Holly, AGAIN, that we should have a contest since both of these girls are not telling anyone when they plan to be "unpregnant". You have an advantage since you know that you can't go any further than 25 days. I, however, do not have a clue when Holly was bred, but I do know that she is "with child"

What do you say, Iowa?

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Thanks, Michelle

Thanks to Michelle at Bolderneigh for the Fabulous Blog Award. It makes me feel guilty because I really don't think that I am much of a "blogger." But........I'll take it since I appreciate that she thought of me.

Here are five things that I am addicted to:
1. My animals. (Like Michelle said.) My parents didn't let us have any animals when my brother and I were growing up. I guess I went overboard in my older years. It is just getting worse, and I am loving every minute of it.

2. Reading. I have always spent a lot of time reading. That hasn't changed. Maybe I didn't read as much when I was teaching and going to school, but I am making up for that now. But.....when I run out of the books that Todd has given me, I won't read as much, or I will become a regular at the library.

3. The beauty of our farm. Living in the country pleases me. Having a farm pleases me. I am pleased.

4. My computer. I spend a lot of time on any e-mail I get and reading the blogs that I follow. Since I am alone in a place where I have only lived for 6 years, I don't have a base of friends here. I can interact in a vicarious way with my computer friends.

5. Frivolous stuff: sweets,"NCIS", "House", WPR, NPR, eating out, donuts.

Now I need to find five blogs and pass on the award.

The three stooges

The three little pigs are still in a small pen in the barn. Pia is using her hoof correctly most of the time. I hope that they will be able to be in a larger place soon because I know that they need to run and jump. It can't be done in the barn. I found that out when the two rams that are in breeding pens got real antsy when I let the girls run around. No more of that. They will just have to eat hay and cookies where they are until they can get outside again.

It Will Bite You in the Butt

Good old 2008 has come around again to "bite us in the butt." Because of a whole list of stuff, I do not want to go into, we are having calves in the dead of winter.

Obviously no one in their right mind would do this on purpose. To complicate matters, one of the list of "stuff", there is no way to get them into a protected place. Last night we played "round up" like cowboys trying to get Holly into the barn. One way or another, we did get her into a protected area and isolated from the others.

Birth is imminent. I haven't learned to tell when this is going to happen as well as I have with the sheep, but she is going to burst soon. She is a heifer; the first calf born at our farm. Kind of sybolic, I guess. I feel much better just having her out of the elements so that there is a place for her to give birth. It may not be inside, but it is out of the wind and snow, and we can get help if it is needed. I can't keep from just going out there and checking on her. It is exciting and nerve wracking at the same time. Like lambing only with much less control. (There is not much control with lambing that I remember.)

Just hope for a healthy heifer calf so she has someone to pal around with. She is not accepted by the rest of the herd, either their idea or hers. Her mom died last winter, so she has been alone since then. I just don't like to see even animals without companionship. I know, they are just animals. I am a big softy, and I can feel any way that I want about that.