The Magic Number

The mild week of weather has me watching the outside temperature closely. Every time we get above 50 degrees, I move the little tomato seedlings (now an inch tall) from inside the garage to outside in the fresh air. Right now, the move is as simple as setting one tray from inside the window sill to setting it on the picnic bench on the porch to drink in the sun while being protected from swirling breezes or showers. Continue reading

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Big Dents In Haystacks

This is the time of year when we go through a lot of the hay that we had made during the summer. We are feeding twice a day so the cows have a constant supply since there is not much to graze upon when nothing is growing.

We estimate we are about halfway through the hay we put into the barns. January 1st is considered our halfway point of needing to feed large amounts. Continue reading

Home Base

The dogs are sure that the Gator is home base. They know that if they are on the Gator they will not be left behind when we want to do some chores, go up the hill, or just travel the fence lines.

Two dogs wait to feed hay loaded in Gator.Since the hay was already loaded in the back, Butler (with his chin on the passenger seat) and Jackson (flattened on top of the bales) wait patiently for someone to come and do the evening chores.

This is a common sight at feeding time and the dogs are on their best behavior. They know that their feeding time comes right after the cows feeding and they are not going to mess up that plan.

Peach and Respect

Peach, who was born on January 3 and Respect, who was born on March 25 are getting along wonderfully well. Peach has been showing Respect how to sleep outside in the pasture, chase birds and as shown in this picture, eat hay from the manger.

Two young calves eating hay in the manger.Peach grabs large clumps of hay while Respect is still nibbling on stem at a time, but soon both will come into the barn at feeding time as quickly as their mothers do.

Respect tries to show his dominance as a bull when around Peach. He will scuffle and bump heads. Peach takes it good-naturedly and just pushes him aside when she tires of his game.

Getting A Little Outdoor Exposure

The twins, Front and Back are happy to have outdoor privileges even though the ground is still a soggy mess. This barn yard gives them a space to run and cavort around and they are taking advantage of the space.

Twin calves with mother Black Angus.The mother, #7 is content to watch at the twins race from one end of the barn yard to the other at a dead run.

There is still the issue of the mother liking Front better than Back. She is not mean, but tends to push Back away from nursing.

In order for the twins to conform to eating meals at the same time, we have been forced to pen the boys in and away from #7 for a couple of hours at a time, then letting them go to her together to nurse.

#7 is not crazy about the idea and would prefer to have Front with her at all times, but she is willing to try this technique as long as we do not let her get uncomfortable with an udder full of milk before reuniting the family. We still keep the three together all night long, but the daytime will continue to have separation times for momma and babies. If this does not work, Back may need to become a ‘bucket baby’ being fed with formula instead of nursing.

Heads Or Tails

Trying to snap a picture of the newborn twins is not an easy task. Their momma, #7 is a photo-hog and tries to bomb her way into most shots. Being nearly a ton in weight, she is able to make quite a statement with just a couple of steps.

Twin Black Angus newborn bull calves.Once I moved #7 to a separate pen, I was able to get a quick pick to share.

This is the back of Back and the front of Front. Or it is the front of Back and the back of Front.

Either way, the twins are doing well and jump up to nurse when they see me coming into the pen with them, and they go nurse on their own when their tummies dictate it is time to eat. They don’t cuddle up to each other, but they do like to lay within a couple of feet of each other when they are resting. Usually when momma #7 lays down she is in the middle of her two boys.

Mother and twins are doing well. We will keep them in the barn for a couple of more days as we expand the pen to new territory giving them more freedom with each opened gate. By tomorrow they will have access to space both inside and outside the barn structure. This gives the twins time to bond before putting them out into the nursery field with the other cow/calf pairs. This bond will be vital to all three in order thrive in the rough and tumble nursery pasture.