Sunday, October 26, 2014

After being back to work full time for almost 2 months, my body is still adjusting to all the new muscle movements and standing on concrete 8 to 12 hours a day again. It's been a challenge, both physically and mentally, to say the least. But, it's good to know that after 7 years out of the work force, I can still manage.

I had a couple of extra days off, thanks to the Dr this week (muscle tension causing numb arms and hands), so I got a few things that needed to be done around here accomplished. I made a couple of batches of Buttermilk Biscuits. The Better Half loves it when I bake, even said he misses my breads! While this took me most of yesterday, since the temps are getting cooler, the dough takes longer to rise in the kitchen window. I ended up with 3 doz rolls! Since it was dark when I got done, I didn't get any pictures, sorry guys.

Today, I went and pulled some tomato plants out of the ground, and picked the last remaining 'mators on the bushes. Now, to pull the plant tables out of the open air greenhouse, and put my tires and pallets down and get them ready for tators, onions, carrots and other root crops that I  plan to over-winter.
 As you can see, the mator plants grew pretty darn tall and thick this year (this is just three plants). May be because it was grown in the old chicken coop area. Gotta love a good, fertile ground! 

The chicken coop also got cleaned out yesterday. Those dropping and the sand from the house will go down to the garden and get tilled in to help amend the soil for next years garden. But before we can till in the compost, I have to pull this year's plants and get them to the compost pile.

Thursday, September 4, 2014

New Member of the Family

We have talked extensively about getting a calf for some time now. Nathan finally got himself on a calling list with a local Jersey Cow Farmer. The very next day (which would have been yesterday), we got a phone call that there was a calf for sale, born on Sept 2nd. WOW, we never expected it to be that quick!

Yesterday, after work, we went and picked this little guy up. Yep, it's a bull. I can understand why he sells his bull calves, since he is a dairy farm. So, this should be an interesting year for us. These first few months, I'm sure you will be hearing a lot about him, as this is where I will be keeping my journal about raising him. He weighs in right  at 40 lbs,

With that said, let me get to my notes before I forget what has occurred over the past two days. I know the above pic is not that good, but the only one I have at the moment. And since it was taken at night, with my cell phone, under a heating light, there isn't much I can do about the red tints. I'll work on getting better pics of him over the next few days.

We still have not chosen a name for him, Right now, it is between Storm and Prince, just not sure which is right for him yet.

So anyways, we brought him home yesterday evening around 5 pm, and he still had to have one more feeding for the day. Since this is our first calf, I was happy to have our neighbor here who has successfully raised several calves. He got his last feeding of the day at about 5:30 PM, I hated feeding him so early, but I wanted to make sure I was doing it right, so I had to feed while Alice was here. After a couple of times of helping him find the bottle nipple, he did very well. He laid in his corner under the light, and slept well.

Day 2 (3 days old) ~ I was up at 6 AM to get Little Guy his bottle, and he was more then happy to see me this morning. His feedings were split into 3 feedings today, and by the last feeding, he had no trouble knowing what the bottle is. He is a bit pushy, which is normal, from my understanding. If you have any secrets to this, please share.  His last feeding was at 8 PM tonight.

After his milk replacer, he drank a good bit of water from his bottle. I was beginning to worry about his water intake today, as it didn't look like he was touching his water, and he was not really sucking on my fingers when they were wet with water. He did have a really good stream this afternoon though, so that eased my mind some.

He was also introduced to hay today. I know he won't eat very much of it at first, maybe a bite here and there. But, at least he now has access to it when he is ready to start chomping on hay.

His umbilical cord is drying up nicely, and looking good. Gave a it a good dip in Iodine tonight, just to be on the safe side.His bowel movements are looking good. The next couple of days are the days to watch him. This is when he will be most susceptible to Scours. If we can get past the next couple of days without Scours, we will be doing great!