For And Aft

Our newest cow to deliver, Scooter, has brought her baby closer to incorporating into the main herd. But she is still wary that the other calves will pick on her little Vespa so she hides her around the brushy fence lines while she grazes, goes for water or eats hay. This tendency will only last a couple of days until Vespa is strong enough to join in with the gang of calves that cavort around the field. Until that happens, we go in search of the calf at every feeding to check up on her, make sure she has been nursing, and that she had not somehow gotten herself stuck on the wrong side of the fence surrounding the field.

There are dangers being on the outskirts of the herd. The river is just beyond the fence and riparian area and we have lost calves before who have wandered too close to the edge and have fallen. The coyotes hang around the fields in hopes of finding tender newborns, they wait for the mothers to become inattentive or temporarily when they temporarily misplace their babies. Or a calf could just simply lay down for a nap close to the fence and when they try to stand up, slip under the bottom wire and end up on the wrong side.

A whole lot of commotion breaks out when a new mother is not able to get to her new calf on the other side of a barb wire fence. All the calves run to see what is going on, the mothers all run in an attempt to corral their little ones. Babies are crying for their mothers and mothers are bellowing back. When all the hoop-la is going on it is easy to find where the wrong-side-of-the-fence baby is located. When the baby is sleeping, we have to guess where the mother put the baby down for a rest and begin searching the brushy growths along the fences.

It is amazing how small a newborn can look when curled up. Babies can set themselves into a small depression and nearly disappear from view, add buck brush, snowberry and wild rose bushes and the calf can be invisible.

It was Mike who spotted an area in the fenceline from across the hayfield that looked suspicious and a good spot for a calf. Quietly we walked along the fence so we didn’t spook the sleeping newborn if she was indeed in there. It was much easier to see the little pile of calf from the wrong side of the fence rather than the right side of the fence.

Startling a sleeping baby is not a good thing to do since they usually bolt and run the wrong direction. I nearly walked right up to the baby before I saw her in the middle of the brush on the wrong side of the fence. I gently woke her up by stroking her back and murmuring softly. When she started to wake, I urged her to stand up. The fence was too low in this spot for her to get back over to the other side so I had to coax her to walk along the fence before finding a spot where I could lift the barb wire enough for her to get back to her mother. By that time the whole herd was there along the fence and the noise was tremendous.

All is well now that we have Vespa reunited with her mother.

You gotta see the pictures of the happy family! They are posted with this story on SchmidlinAngusFarms.com. While you are there, if there is any online shopping you plan on doing, please go through my picture links. By doing so, I get credit for directing people to browse and may make a small commission without a charge to you! The commissions help pay for my user charges for this site, Thank You for supporting the farm stories.

I am delighted to announce that the new book by MaryJane Nordgren, Nandria’s War, is available to the public and can be purchased through my website, SchmidlinAngusFarms.com!  And is now available on Kindle also.

 

#35 Scooter And Vespa

We had been watching Scooter because she looked close to calving. During the morning feeding she was in the middle of the main herd eating like the rest of them. During the day, Mike noticed her moving away from the herd toward the spring at the far back end of the field. Scooter headed for water wouldn’t have seemed different from the many trips the cattle take either individually  or in groups heading for the water source, but the way she walked with an urgency and her tail slightly elevated gave clues that she was about to deliver.

Moving away from the herd to give birth is common and especially smart during this time where our little trouble maker, KAOS the bull, has been picking on newborns. We avoided checking on Scooter for a couple of hours so we did not spook her too far uphill where it would be harder to help if need be. By the time we did go looking beginning at the last spot Mike saw her heading, we found Scooter and her newborn comfortable under some big fir trees beyond the spring. Scooter had found a safe spot from the bothersome KAOS and all the other critters of the herd.

Welcome to the farm SAF Vespa, born 3/27/2020 a sweet little heifer weighing in at 72 lbs.

All the farm stories with pictures and recipes can be found at SchmidlinAngusFarms.com. While you are there, if there is any online shopping you plan on doing, please go through my picture links. By doing so, I get credit for directing people to browse and may make a small commission without a charge to you! The commissions help pay for my user charges for this site, Thank You for supporting the farm stories.

I am delighted to announce that the new book by MaryJane Nordgren, Nandria’s War, is available to the public and can be purchased through my website, SchmidlinAngusFarms.com!  And is now available on Kindle also.

Not A Joke

For those who have been readers for several years, this story will seem very familiar but revisiting now and again is good for my mental health, along with a glimpse into human behavior. But first I will have to set up the scene…

Our farm is rural. The area is located near the edge of the county, at the end of the school district, on the outskirts of fire districts, either at the beginning of the electricity from the sub-station or the end depending on which way the circuit of power is circling toward town, and at the end of the mail route.  For many years, once we really had phone service, we were long distance to all but our little town. Calls made to the Junction less than two miles the opposite direction from the farm were considered long distance. The County Sheriff jokes that we are the “West Ender’s” and that nothing much happens this far out. I have always quipped that I live at the end of civilization as we know it. Continue reading

What Day Is It

As I check in on family, friends, loved ones, acquaintances, and customers, I keep hearing the phrase ‘what day is it’? It’s as if once the daily routine of our lives changes, our sense of time alters. I have noticed this in the past when taking a few days away from the farm, the change of routine while seeing new sights doesn’t kick in because there are other demands like being on time for planned excursions like car rentals, hotel stays, vista views, etc. It is when I return home when I notice that my internal clock is skewed, my nights don’t seem restful and my days are unsettled. It takes me time to get back to my normal routine, sometimes it is just a day but it usually takes more than that for my internal metronome to get clicking on a regular basis.

With this new experience of sheltering in place,  people I talk or computer chat to, are in that unbalanced state. Days of the week seem condensed or stretched, sometimes at the same time!

So I figured I would give you the day of the week in cattle-speak…today is dirt day. Dirt day is the holiday for the main herd when we move them to a new area that has new smells and the opportunity to get down and rub to their hearts content. The dirt the herd found on this day was near the side-hill where we fed them their breakfast. The calves, ranging from a couple days old to several months of age happily joined their mothers in the cut of the skid road where the logs are dragged off the hillside to the landing.

Within an hour, nearly every member of the main herd had a smear of dirt on their legs, heads, necks and backsides.

Welcome to dirt day, I hope this story finds you able to find your balance with a bit of soil.

Thank you so much for supporting our stories. We appreciate every reader we have and love it when you spread the word about SchmidlinAngusFarms, fill out the FOLLOW information so you get each story right to your email each day and/or leave comments about the stories. I would also like to take a moment to thank those who click on the icon to do shopping with the affiliate, your clicks give me credit for directing people to their site (clicking on the affiliate icon does not make you purchase, only gets you the their site) and sometimes I get a small commission from your purchases if you do shop, without a cost to you! As always, Prime and special codes work with the icon and you do not have to purchase any item that I promote. Please consider using my link when you do your cyber shopping. Thank you for your support

I am so pleased to announce that MaryJane Nordgren has made her new book available to the public! Click here for your copy of Nandria’s War.

More Signs Of Spring

While Mike is on the tractor out in the hayfields, I have time to wander around the places that I seldom tread. When I hear the tractor change gears to come up the county road, I high-tail it back to the barn to assist filling the next spreader-full of lime.

The between times are when I walk past the log landing and up alongside the skid road where Mike brings the logs downhill in the summer time. This is the same trail that I walk to begin mushroom hunting in the fall and use in the summer time to scout for cows that graze uphill to find new patches of fresh grass. Sometimes I head to the back of the 6 acre field and follow cattle trails through the underbrush or pick my way along the river looking for pretty rocks.

On this day I found evidence that the weather is moderating and spring is nearly upon us. The buds on the willows in the riparian zone are not as tight-fisted as they were a couple of weeks ago and I can see the tips turning green as the folded leaves prepare to emerge. The same goes for the vine maple, only bright red stems and tips last week where the green from inside is beginning to show. I can just barely begin to see the alder trees along the river start to turn their signature red color before setting out their leaves.

I found the first trillium of the season and tripped over some thread-thin vines of the ground growing blackberry before getting caught in a sudden rain shower that brought hail for a short burst. It was like Mother Nature reminding me that she is not ready quite yet for the full spring experience.

All the farm stories with pictures can be found at SchmidlinAngusFarms.com. While you are there, if there is any online shopping you plan on doing, please go through my picture links. By doing so, I get credit for directing people to browse and may make a small commission without a charge to you! The commissions help pay for my user charges for this site, Thank You for supporting the farm stories.

I am delighted to announce that the new book by MaryJane Nordgren, Nandria’s War, is available to the public and can be purchased through my website, SchmidlinAngusFarms.com!  And is now available on Kindle also.

#76 Blackie And Rock

Now that we exposed the culprit that has been picking on the newborns, we are watching out for him. We are trying to isolate the new mothers, if not before they give birth but as soon as possible after birth to keep our little troublemaker, KAOS, from pestering the new mom or baby.

When we were ready to begin the evening feeding for the herd, we noticed KAOS over by Blackie and knew something was going on. When we got closer we saw that indeed Blackie had a baby. We got KAOS segregated along with the rest of the main herd from the new family and locked the gate to the 6 acre field so Blackie and her new baby had time to chill out and bond without interruption.

Welcome to the farm, bull calf Rock born 3/20/2020 and weighing in at 80 lbs. Mother and baby doing great after 24 hours with a whole field to themselves before reuniting with the main herd.

You gotta see the pictures of the happy family! They are posted with this story on SchmidlinAngusFarms.com. While you are there, if there is any online shopping you plan on doing, please go through my picture links. By doing so, I get credit for directing people to browse and may make a small commission without a charge to you! The commissions help pay for my user charges for this site, Thank You for supporting the farm stories.

I am delighted to announce that the new book by MaryJane Nordgren, Nandria’s War, is available to the public and can be purchased through my website, SchmidlinAngusFarms.com!  And is now available on Kindle also.

Temporarily Missing

I was out scouting along for a missing calf. The word missing is not exactly correct, the mother had found a good hiding spot for her new little one to rest while she went about with the main herd grazing in the field.

The area she had chosen to hide her baby was in the back of the 6 acre field beyond the brush of the power lines and into a wild area with thick tangles of vine maple, tall hemlock and fir trees, broken down, rotting alder trees and lots of vines of wickedly barbed blackberry. The cow knew that her baby was back there somewhere but didn’t seem to remember exactly where.

Mike and I tried to find the baby after we had fed the main herd out in the field. We walked through the tangles and over the fallen trees yet could not find the calf. We retrieved the mother from the herd and walked her down to the area where we thought the calf may be sleeping and the mother walked us around and around in circles without disturbing a calf.

It took a good twenty minutes of searching before the mother finally decided to bellow. The bellow woke the calf enough for the little one to give a small moo in reply and the mother went right to the spot where the calf was dozing. Mike, I and the mother had walked right by this spot several times but it was so well hidden in a little thicket that we missed it. (We were beginning to think she really didn’t want us to find her baby so she did not make a sound as we trailed behind her for such a long time).

All the farm stories with pictures can be found at SchmidlinAngusFarms.com. While you are there, if there is any online shopping you plan on doing, please go through my picture links. By doing so, I get credit for directing people to browse and may make a small commission without a charge to you! The commissions help pay for my user charges for this site, Thank You for supporting the farm stories.

I am delighted to announce that the new book by MaryJane Nordgren, Nandria’s War, is available to the public and can be purchased through my website, SchmidlinAngusFarms.com!  And is now available on Kindle also.