Here’s The Deal

Honey says I say that ALL the time…..”ok, here’s the deal!”   He’s never sure what to expect!  But after almost 30 yrs of marriage, he isn’t surprised at anything that comes out of my mouth.  I’m so glad for his unconditional love!!!

I knew that if I posted pictures of Joy’s udder, there would be concern….and sure enough there was.  The cow forum that I belong to was certain that she must of been pregnant!  So after much stress over this little girl accidentally getting pregnant…..I found a new Vet closer to my home and she came out this morning.  After palpating her (yes, she was in my heifer up to her shoulder), she declared Joy NOT pregnant!!!  Wahoo!

She is what we thought all along…a little SUCKER!  When we got our two heifers she began sucking my bred heifer and then when I separated them, she started self sucking.  I shouldn’t of been surprised.   She sucks everything.  She is always grabbing my clothes and sucking.   And like I told you the other day, she was grabbing the electric line and sucking it.

DSCN2196The day I fell in love with Joy. A cold rainy day in December!

I felt really sorry for her….and that’s the reason I bought her.  I know….not a good reason….but why not?  Why not give a little calf that didn’t have a future a chance???  Why not???  With all the right care I believe she can become a good milk cow.  I just have to persevere through all of her little quirks. If we were all cast aside because of our quirks….I fear there wouldn’t be any of us left.

I still believe that Little Joy can become a good milk cow.  The Vet didn’t think that her udder looked damaged.  She just has a bad habit!  Don’t we all?

What’s yours?

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My Cows Love Me!

That’s all I could say yesterday; “my cows love me!!!!” They do! Really. If you could see their happy cow faces, you’d know I’m telling the truth. When I go out to check on them, they actually come running to meet me. Makes my heart happy.

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It’s so amazing how gentle these giants are. I haven’t let down my guard. I’m still cautious of Josie (that’s my new nicname for Josephine….Miss Josie or Mama Josie). She’s a mighty big animal and since she’s only lived with other heifers, she’s still a bit playful. I make sure she knows I have my horse stick thingy tucked under my arm and she seems to respect that.

I go out in the pasture and brush Josie at least once a day. She hangs her head down and almost goes comatose! Oh, she loves all that lovin. I think I bumped the baby yesterday…..oh, I know that sounds really horrid. But relax, it’s not. It’s simply a way of getting the baby calf to kick back at you and usually can’t be done until the 7th month. Did you know that a baby calf is cross way in her Mama until it’s time to be born and then she gets into position? Trouble is Josie’s not too fond of me doing it, so I will leave her alone. But, I think I successfully BUMPED!

Yesterday and this morning I put them out on pasture at 6:30 AM, and when I brought them in at 8:30 PM last evening, they were so absolutely content and went straight away to bed! Josie didn’t do any of her rodeo bronco routines. Which I am grateful for. I think her reason for bucking and being so lively was that she really didn’t want to stop eating grass and didn’t want to be in the corral.

So, happy cows eat grass! It’s a fact now.

And happy cows love me!!!

And that’s a fact!!!

😀

The Good Life

Psalm 104:13 14, 24, 34

“He waters the mountains from His upper rooms; the earth is satisfied and abounds with the fruit of His works. (13)

He causes vegetation to grow for the cattle, and all that the earth produces for man to cultivate, that he may bring forth food out of the earth-. (14)

O Lord, how many and varied are Your works! In wisdom have You made them all; the earth is full of Your riches and Your creatures. (24)

May my meditation be sweet to Him; as for me, I will rejoice in the Lord.” (34)

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In my opinion, this is the best view of a cow…the rear!!! Now, don’t you dare get a camera near my rear, but as for my girls, this is their best side!!!

Seems to some of us, that Josephine might have a blind quarter. (did I get that right Tammy?) There seems be an issue with one of her quarters not filling out like the opposite quarter. In fact it’s sunken and shriveled. So, we shall wait and see. It’s not really a big deal. It means less milk and then of course if I wanted to sell her she’s worth a lot less. But, we’ll see how much she can produce out of 3 quarters if that is indeed the case.

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See it in the top right corner of the picture? It is either a blind quarter or she’s been sucked on. And, I don’t think Joy is sucking. Perhaps she was sucked on before we got her, but I really haven’t seen any indication that Joy is sucking. The other quarters are swelling and look fine. I’ll have to watch and see what happens.

No matter. She looks fine from the rear! Don’t ya think!

“Lord, bless Josephine and Joy. Bless the wee babe growing inside of Josephine and give them both good health. “

One Week with My Cowgirls!

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It’s hard to believe that it’s only been one week since my girls arrived. I guess since we’ve been working sooooo very hard, it seems like forever. There’s something to be said about hard work….you sure sleep good!

Baby Joy (as I call her) has warmed up to me. She now approaches me with her chin raised so I will scratch her. It’s really too funny and only a cow face a mama could love. Her eyes usually rolling to the back of her head…kinda gross. Her cow lips pointed straight for me. Yesterday, as I was brushing Josephine….Joy was behind me licking the seat of my pants.

Joy

Joy

Joy is really good with a lead rope now. But not being pulled by the harness. I can understand that…in my good cow books, it’s following her head kinda thing. She firmly plants her feet if I try to pull her by the side with the harness.

Josephine however will lead by me pulling her harness or a rope. She’s very cooperative. They both allow me to put the rope harness on them without putting up much of a fuss.

Josephine at 7 months

Josephine at 7 months gestation

They’ve been on pasture for several days now and just love it. Mmmm lots and lots of grass. I like them on pasture also…it makes for less cow poo to clean up. But, the one problem with grass is looser poo. It’s a bit challenging to pick up. Honey gave me his concrete tool. I can’t think of the name, but I scoop the poo onto the manure shovel with the blade of that thing and it works really well. Our pristine, barnyard is now, not so pristine. It’s a true barnyard.

I’ve been watching Josephine’s udder trying to determine if she will calve earlier or later. Here are some really nice pics of her udder. I’m very impressed and I think that when and if I hand milk she will do just fine.

Josephine's Udder at 7 months

Josephine's Udder at 7 months gestation as a heifer.

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Josephine's Udder 7 months

Josephine's Udder 7 months gestation as a heifer.

Mooove Over Chickies

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Here they come!!!

As an expectant grandma…I’m waiting pacing back and forth for the arrival of my bovine girls.

It’s been quite a while since our suburban DC neighborhood has had a parade.  And we’ve probably never had a cow parade.  Due to the soft lawn from all the rain, we decided to unload the girls on the street.

As motorist drove by talking on their cell phones they nearly threw their necks out!  It was tooooo funny….yep, it’s called a cow!

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Hello Josephine!

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I walked Josephine back to the barnyard and Cathy walked little Joy.  They both did fairly well, considering little Lady nipping at their heels.  Lady is having some identity issues, but she seems to be adjusting well.  Right now she sleeps at my feet as she observes she is the ONLY animal in the house.

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This was the first time Josephine and Joy have met, even though they lived on the same dairy farm.  Josephine was with the older heifers and Joy with the calves.

Josephine showed some wonderful motherly skills….she kissed Joy! ❤

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Mike helped me put on their new PINK halters.  Those babies are so bright I could see them in the dark!  Speaking of dark, it was 6:10 PM when they arrived to their new home.  We spent an hour with Mike and Cathy and then I spent time rubbing and talking to them.  When I went in the house they moooed.  I wasn’t sure what a cow did at night.  Our girls settled into their new barn and went to sleep.  When our Sweet Girl came home a little later they welcomed her with a couple mooos.  Then when our neighbor came home they welcomed him.  I guess the cows out of the bag!

I think the other neighbors must have been using binoculars as we walked the girls around the pasture trying to introduce them to the electric fence.  I could hear them….”oh my, no it’s not a goat, doesn’t seem to be a horse…oh my I think it’s a cow…two cows!”  I’ll go over later this week, maybe today and see if they’d like to meet our new girls.  I think the kids will be delighted…not sure about the parents!  Maybe when we have fresh cream I can bribe them. 😀

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Joy found the orchard hay that I put out for them.  Mmmmm this stuff is good.

They both have not been on pasture and they were so excited eating nothing but grass!  I wasn’t sure about the type of grass we had, Mike identified it to be Bluegrass.  The goodstuff!

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Josephine christened the new straw…Joy was like “hey don’t pee in my bed!”

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I didn’t hear them until 6:30 AM.   They were calling for me to come for a visit.  When I came in for breakfast and to shower they went back in for a nap.

This is way cool!

RIP Waldean

Waldean

Waldean

Waldean hasn’t layed an egg since I came home from Germany, which was about 3 weeks ago! She’s been visiting the nesting box, but no eggs. I came to the conclusion that she wasn’t molting and was just not laying and I really don’t have room for a free loader. So this AM since she is slow to fly the coop, I grabbed her and put her in a cage.

She’s always been a bit wacky, not like a chicken at all. She didn’t even look like a chicken, funny shaped head and small comb.  Well, she didn’t like the cage one bit and was flitting in her little space.  I left her while I was trying to wake up.  I really wasn’t feeling very well and decided that Walean would live to see another day. So, I went to free her and………she had killed herself. I was a bit troubled and ran to tell Honey that she was dead. He figured that she broke her neck trying to flee the cage. She hadn’t been dead for very long and she was still soft and movable.  So I was then forced to process her. So much for feeling sick.

I put a pot of water on to heat and took her head off to bleed her out.   As I was processing her, Ben our Tender Warrior woke up and stuck his head out the deck door. I said, “say hello to Waldean.” I dipped her in the hot water and plucked her. Not a very hard job. Then I took out her inerds. I was very careful as not to puncture anything. This being my first chicken, I did a pretty good job….but there were all these funny things inside of her…..OMIGOSH an egg!!!!! A full size hard shelled egg! OMIGOSH I killed my chicken (ok, she really committed suicide) and she has a clogged duct……oh no she was a clogged chicken, not a duck!  Or is it called a clogged vent….now I’ll never know….was she going to lay an egg that morning or the next day or was she like constipated but with an egg.  I really felt sorry for her at that point.  Poor Waldean.

Honey says I’m a real farmer now. I’ve killed one of my animals for food and that makes it real. We haven’t eaten her yet…that will make it real.

~~~~

We ate Waldean last night.  She was very tasty, although her joints were extremely tough and that girl had quite a breast bone.  I never was able to break her breast bone.  Thank you Waldean for the life you lived and gave for us.

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Look at all the yolks! See the huge egg!?

Waldeans last egg.

Waldeans last egg.

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Rocky Rooster crowed way too many times last night. We had our windows open and I was ready to kill him this AM. He has lived to see another day, but if he keeps it up….he will be a delicious Sunday dinner.

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Rocky Rooster

He is looking really pretty though. But he is very noisy.

It’s Here!!!

Grab a cuppa and have a look at our new arrival! Tears of joy filled my eyes as we get one step closer to bringing our girls home!

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Mr Myers of Myers Mini Barns called this morning at 8:30 and said he’d be here within the hour.

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He pulled over the curb and across the side yard.

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10 X 28

It’s divided in half.

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Honey is an engineer and he planned for the barn pad perfectly.

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The trailer was backed onto the pad and lined up just right.

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The girls were watching with excitement, just hoping that they might be able to live in the barn.

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Of course the turn out area is for the cows. The next area is for hay and straw storage with a 5 foot wall so that I can throw bales over. The last area is 8 feet and is my milking parlor. The storage section is the only one with a floor. We off centered the double doors so that the left door is plum with the wall for the cows to walk into the stanchion. It looks perfect!

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The really cool thing on this trailer ($30K trailer) was the hydrolics. It went up and down, and even sideways. See the wheel in the center. By remote, Mr Myers could adjust this barn to sit perfectly to Honey’s liking!

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Then he started to lower the back end.

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A little bit more.

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Ok, some more.

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There we go. Just right!

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Now the front comes down.

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A little more.

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Bravo!

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Then they had to jack it up and remove the supports.

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A view from the back. I’ll re-paint the shed this spring.

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Jacking it up to remove the skids.

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Pull that skid out.

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Finally, my view from the kitchen. I wanted to be able to see them from the house so that when my Jersey girls calve then I can hear them and be there to help.

Now we have to dig some fence post holes and put up some gates for a corral. Then string the electric fence that I purchased from Premier Fence.