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.

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.

 

Early Conditioning

With all the signs pointing toward an early spring, Mike started putting lime on the hayfields.

We like to spread organic lime each year in the spring to return optimal Ph levels for grass growing.

When we add the lime (pelletized limestone) to the fields, it is best to let the nature dissolve the granules before letting the cattle back onto the field for grazing. The lime would not hurt the herd, but the idea is to let the lime work its way into the soil and sweeten the ground where the nutrients can go back into the grass that will be growing there.

To get the herd away from the fields we wanted to lime, we had moved the main herd to the far, far field a little over a week ago and that is why we have been doing the morning and evening feedings with a dash up the county road on the Gator. Those 20 degree mornings were a frosty drive indeed, but the couple of mornings when we had snow or sleet-y rain were downright uncomfortable since the Gator does not have sides, roof or windshield.

The weather that was uncomfortable for us was good to break down the lime and very few bits can be found as we examine the  ground in the hay fields. We will be ready to move the herd back from the far, far field possibly today except for we do have a calf that is nearly due and plans may change.

Since mrssusanschmidlin.wordpress.com is nearly out of data, the complete story can be found at SchmidlinAngusFarms.com. 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 on that site. 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 support the website to be available for the daily stories. Thank you for supporting SchmidlinAngusFarms.com

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!

Confused Mama

Last week, we were baffled for a short time when we had come upon the sight of possibly two cows taking responsibility for a new calf before finding that there were two new calves to match up with the two mama cows.

A few days later, we had a new mama cow confused when we realized she had one calf along the upper fence of the large field then moved further out into the field to deliver a second baby. After the second calf was born was when we drove the Gator out to feed hay and she was so hungry, she began following the trail of hay slabs that we were throwing out to the herd instead of rounding up her new offspring. We believe it was confusing to her to still be having labor pains to expel the placenta and her intense hunger that led to her inattention to the offspring. With coyotes hanging around the area, it was imperative to make sure both babies were safe and being taken care of.

While the herd was eating hay, we drove over to the heifer calf by the fence, she was being picked on by one of the month-old calves and he kept knocking her down rather than letting her get stable enough to walk around. I was able to scoop her up easily and set her in the back of the Gator while Mike drove us to the barn. We deposited the little heifer in one of the pens while we went to check on the other calf. Continue reading

Herd Returns To The Main Field

The herd had signaled when it was time to clean up the far, far field about a week ago with their watching the grass grow as they stood along the fence line. Now they insisted that it was time once again to move as they had cleaned up this area they were in. The had scoured the edges of the big field, browsed all the new grass in the middle, and cleaned up under the trees growing along the old railroad tracks and under the big fir trees along the outer edge of the property. It was obvious it was time to move to a new grazing area, so when it was time for the evening feeding, all we had to do was open the gate and the whole herd moved into the main field.

With the main field now the main residence while the herd cleans up, the far, far field can again rest comfortably while the grass again grows. Hopefully that will happen without inviting the big herd of elk, that is more than sixty critters big right now, to wipe out the new growth before we have our cows back into that field.

Rotating large areas for our cattle is good for the fields and does not stress the new grass as it is beginning the spring growth cycle. In the next month or two, we will take the whole herd out of the fields completely so the grass can grow for our hay crop that we will begin harvest in late June.

In the meantime, we will continue rotating the herd through the fields, culling out the mothers as they near their birthing time so they have a chance to bond with the new baby before introducing the new family back into the herd. Right now there are two cows that are nearing that stage and are watching closely.

Since mrssusanschmidlin.wordpress.com is nearly out of data, the complete story can be found at SchmidlinAngusFarms.com. 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 on that site. 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 support the website to be available for the daily stories. Thank you for supporting SchmidlinAngusFarms.com

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!

Something In The Air

With the promise of new beginnings, the ground is attempting to dry, the daffodils are starting to poke up out of the dirt, buds are starting to swell and the cows are acting antsy.

The other day, I told you about half of the herd separating from the main group to go off tramping through the woods, now it is the mother cows in the nursery field that have gotten that nagging itch to search for new adventures. When I walked across the bridge to do some early morning firewood production, I noticed only one cow in the nursery field. It was highly unusual. The mothers are very protective of their little ones and the calves hang out together so the big cows can babysit while some of the others wander to the far back of the field for a drink from the spring. One cow by herself just doesn’t happen, except for today.

It took a little exploration, but I found that someone (and nobody is confessing to being the culprit) had been rubbing on a wooden post that holds the fence up between the nursery field and the six acre field. There was evidence of this from the black hair left behind along with the smooth spot on the post that was now flat on the ground, broken off at dirt level. There were the three strands of barb wire stomped into the mud where the rest of the nursery animals had walked through the surprise opening.

Around the corner and down in the dip the herd of mother cows with all the calves were happily munching away. It would be my guess that the lone cow still in the nursery field had been in the back by the spring when the rest of the herd took off for greener pastures and she would be reuniting with the rest of them shortly when she grazed her way toward the six acre field.

Looks like today will be fence fixing day. It wasn’t on the original plan of activities, but there is something in the air that makes me think that if I don’t take care of this issue right away there may be more problems ahead.

Since mrssusanschmidlin.wordpress.com is nearly out of data, the complete story can be found at SchmidlinAngusFarms.com. 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 on that site. 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 support the website to be available for the daily stories. Thank you for supporting SchmidlinAngusFarms.com

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!