Not Content With Ground Level

Jackson the dog does not make it out the the show barn very often, he is usually banned from the area because he likes to chase the barn cats and steal their food. So it was a rare treat for him to accompany me while I fed the cows and the cats in this barn the other day.

Before we headed out to the barn, I made him stop and look me in the eye. I told him point blank that there was to be no foolishness today, he was not allowed to chase any cat that he came across and by all means he was to stay away from their food pan. He gave me his usual goofy smile and a wag of his tail, he seemed to know what I was saying and I believed he promised to behave.

I was very surprised when he ran right past the pile of cats as I poured their share of kibble into their dinner pan. Jackson was on a mission and ran to the hay stack at the back of the barn where he commenced rubbing along the bales which is one of his favorite barn activities. I went to work feeding the cows and took my attention off Jackson for a couple of moments before I realized that he was no longer on the ground floor. I walked both ways around the tractor and peeked at the cats and their dinner but they didn’t seem disturbed. That was when I looked up to see Jackson at the top of the hay stack instead of the ground floor.

Something up there smelled enticing and he figured out how to scale the pile to investigate. I found him with only his tail sticking out of a gap in the bales. Either one of the cats left him a surprise or there is a rat trying to outsmart the cats. I may have to invite Jackson out to the barn with me more often until I get to the bottom of this mystery.

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The Aftermath Of A Wild Week

It was a busy week of trying to keep up with all the rain/water issues. Part of that time, I happened to be the one in charge of the farm and attempted to prepare enough firewood bundles for delivery to busy stores, keep the animals taken care of while making multiple trips to the airport for those who needed pickup and delivery service, made a run into The Meating Place to pick up the finished beef we had harvested on December 5th, and still had a class in Forest Grove and one in Vernonia throughout the week.
I would take some time off to kick back and relax, but we are currently out of bundles of kindling, firewood and premium, along with that I need to make up some more kindling so we can get a crib moved into the heated garage to dry in front of the large fans and dehumidifier so we don’t run out by the end of January. The barns need some serious scooping with the tractor where the flow of rainwater invaded the loafing areas. The paths that we had to use when the main herd was stuck on this side of the river are now a muddy mess and need some attention in the form of rock. It seems hard to figure out what to do first.
After listening to the most recent weather forecast, I believe we will start with cutting some logs that are straight grained into 16 inch blocks. This may take a couple of days between the other chores but once I have the blocks, we can start to haul loads into the barn to split them into kindling and stack them in a drying crib.
The rest of the work will have to be done in bits and pieces as weather permits. Or I may just take a nap.

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Back To Right Again

I have had several people contact me who were worried about the cows and wanted to make sure that I posted when they were all safe and sound. The herd was stuck on the wrong side of the river for several days after making a poor choice in crossing just before the good dumping of rain and the river to rising to above flood stage. The herd have been pasturing in the two small fields on this side of the river where we have been feeding them, we didn’t want to push one of the lead cows into crossing if the herd did not feel comfortable doing it on their own because of the three youngest of the herd only being a few months old with the baby only a month old.

Once stuck on the wrong side, the river kept rising with the heavy rains that have been coming down since Thursday. Finally Saturday afternoon, the sky didn’t clear but at least it wasn’t pouring. Saturday night we only had a few showers. But on Sunday morning the river was still not low enough for the cattle to cross. The small fields are getting muddy from the big foot prints plopping in the muddy spots and there is a lot of manure that has to be dodged in order to lay out piles of hay on the ground. The cows were starting to get cranky as well as us as tenders for the herd.

Finally the herd decided at the Sunday evening feeding that they were going to forge the river to be able to eat at the outdoor feeders where they prefer to dine. The young calves had to really struggle with swimming across but the whole herd made it without issue. The herd is back to residing on the correct side now.

Thanks to my gracious readers for your caring and support.

Since mrssusanschmidlin.wordpress.com is nearly out of data, the complete story can be found at SchmidlinAngusFarms.com with all the pictures! I encourage you to check it out, get your information in on the FOLLOW button spot, and get every story in full color. I would be grateful if you did want to do any cyber shopping to use my links on the stories. By using my links, I get credit for directing people to shop and may make a small commission without any cost to you! Your support helps to make the website available for the daily stories. Thank you for supporting SchmidlinAngusFarms.com

 

 

A Poor Choice

I almost titled this story ‘Stupid Cows’, in fact that was how I described the events to my sister in a text. But it was not really stupidity as the driving factor, but more a matter of timing and poor choices.

The main herd across the river is still getting used to the idea of not having all the wide open ranging of the pastures and large fields since the soggy time of the year began and we fenced them out of many of their usual wandering areas. Now they have to go around the fields instead of cutting through the middle. To get a drink of water they either need to travel to the back of the property by the spring or go to the front to the river. When they are near the front, they have a tendency to cross the river to check the old fruit trees to see if there were any apples left even though the last stragglers had fallen or been eaten by birds weeks ago. Continue reading

Taking A Second Look

Feeding the main herd across the river is a twice a day chore. While I am on the Gator that is loaded with hay bales, the dogs and I are scanning the area for anything unusual.

It is automatic to check the fence lines that run along the base of the hillside keeping the cows out of the nursery/hayfield. The dogs scout about, scenting for coyotes that may have been in the pasture overnight, or elk that may be ready to tear out one of the fences as they plow through towards the river. A good count on the cows is always a necessity, one missing critter usually means there is trouble¬† in the form of an injury or possibly the birth of a new calf. Most of the time we don’t even think about it, but observation is an important tool to keep everything running smoothly. Continue reading

Getting A Jump On The Next Day

This is the week that I am at the second session of REALOregon, so some of the posts may look a little different while I head to Roseburg for the classes. The story today has to do with me being gone and Mike needing to do the chores by himself.

There won’t be time while I am away for either Mike or Marilyn to work on firewood, so I covered the equipment and powered down any electrical cords (always a precaution when we are not using equipment for a day or a whole season). We find that if we are diligent with preparing for a non-productive time, the equipment continues to work effectively when we do need it. It’s possible that it is all a matter of what our minds are expecting but as long as it works, we will continue to do it.

Mike backed the Gator into the barn after the evening chores and loaded bales for the morning feeding. Butler the dog watched closely to make sure Mike was driving safely.

Once the three bales were loaded, Jackson assumed his rightful position on top of the bales and sat there watching me while I closed the gates to the barn and the electric fence around the field.

With the bales loaded for the morning feeding, Mike will  hopefully be able to sneak out to the outdoor feeders before the cows surround them making it a real chore to get the hay into them before they try to pull bites out of the bales. It takes twice as long to feed when they are in the way with a lot more mess. Which is why we normally use two people to feed during the morning and evening chores.

Too bad I will be away to miss the feeding times for a couple of days. But I’m sure I will be too busy with the session to worry about it too much while I’m getting ideas for new stories to share with you!

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Good And Bad Ways

There are good ways and bad ways to test the zapping strength of an electric fence. Many of the bad ways are found out the hard way by trial and error or by slipping as you are stepping over the said fence.

I vividly remember using a shovel handle to hold the wire down while stepping over a fence, the wooden handle doesn’t conduct electricity and all should have been good. Except for the wire slipping down to the metal cuff near the blade that was touching the ground and I got the full shock of the fence several times before the realization of my error. Continue reading