Jackson our ‘wild child’ dog is able to wait patiently when he knows that it will be soon time for us to start up the Gator for chores, especially when it’s feeding time.
If he only knew that mere feet below his snout, a black kitten was also waiting for the signal for dinner time to begin on the farm.
The kitten was waiting as patiently as the dog, and knows what is coming since the order of mealtime is run in a pattern.
The motor of the Gator starting sends cattle, dogs and cats into frenzied anticipation with copious amounts of saliva as they anticipate their upcoming meal. (Come to think of it, my tummy starts rumbling about that time of day knowing that our dinner time follows the critters meals.)
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
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.
What’s left of haystack in bull barn.
Hay ready to be loaded onto in main herd barn.
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
Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise, large animals are not as dumb as they may seem. Although normally they abide by the rules of the farm and get along with their fellow critters(including humans), they can also be quite conniving when they decide to mutiny or if they just get into a ‘mood’. Continue reading
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.
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, 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.
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.
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.
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.