Butter Face

The calves are a constant source of smile and downright laughter. Many times we only get to interact with them twice a day during feeding time with some of those times only getting a quick count before moving on to other chores.

Watching the little ones come running when they hear the Gator loaded with hay, or seeing them calling for their mother from across the field as they hope that mama comes to them rather them going in search of her. The kiddos gang up to scamper around the large pasture fields or to plop down in the grass to practice chewing their cud. They are always up to something cute.

While I was feeding yesterday, one calf did not stop nursing while I was feeding hay. He was very busy and couldn’t have been bothered with others milling about and eating.

Finally after done with his milk meal, his mother was able to move toward a pile of delicious hay while the calf stood with a like that I like to call “milk stupid”. Nursing is a hard job for calves (and human babies for that matter), and it like running a marathon. It is common for a calf to work up a good lather as it goes round and round the set of four teats. Also the act of nursing can raise the calf’s temperature from the exertion so that when a calf is finally done with the meal, it takes a few minutes of huffing and puffing to return to the normal respiratory rate and body temperature to moderate.

This calf was in the “milk stupid” state and hung around several minutes while he caught his breath. It was a good thing that it only took a  little time to get his second wind and he was able to get his share of hay before the rest of the herd snatched it all up.

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!

Watched During Production

I wanted to get several cribs of wood stacked and into the garage for final stage of drying while I’m away from the farm next week. Every available minute between other tasks around the place have been devoted to the barn across the river where the splitter is set up along with several empty cribs.

During one of my sessions while I was dutifully splitting away, I looked up to see Jackson (he is the frantic, wild-child one) peacefully stretched out on a piece of cardboard that had fallen off the top of the drying cribs and was flat on the cement floor. He had such a sad look on his face, and he was framed by the slats of the wood crib. It made him look like a sad sack that was stuck in prison.

What he was actually doing was allowing the cardboard to soak up all that extra water he had accumulated while running through the rain and soggy pastures. Once his drying pad was soaked, he moved to a pile of hay that was left in the manger by the nursery cows and snuggled down for a good snooze a lot less wet than when he walked into the barn. His time for watching me as I worked came to an abrupt end.

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

Playing In The Rain

We all need a little down time, that moment or two throughout the day to kick up a heel or do a little jig. Those carefree moments can seem to transport us from a day of slogging through the rain, to light and carefree exuberance. Babies of all species learn from those times of wild gyrations or wiggly movements, new muscles are being worked while balance and new abilities are forged.

The younger calves in the nursery field are testing their strength with each other by touching heads and trying to push each other out of the way. They try messing with the bigger calf and even the mom’s in the field, with the larger animals ignoring the little ones attempts to bother them. The calves love to run toward the Gator when we are driving out in the field and fly their tales high in the air as they come flying across the pasture.

The newest baby in the nursery field is KAOS,  now just a week old now and can be seen chomping on a single spear of hay during meal time. It is still more important to grab a few slugs of milk from his mother #99 than eating solid food, but he is getting the idea that when there is food being placed in the field it is time to eat.

At mealtime when we throw out slabs of hay, the babies spend time nosing around and sometimes fighting the hay in an attempt to outwit the pile that fluffs into loose hay as the calf flips it around. Once it is broken into a loose pile rather than a stiff slab, the calf changes tactics and flops down in the hay to enjoy the soft downy pile.

It was a gray, rainy day that I happened to get a few pictures of Hopper who was having  a grand time scooting around a slab of hay and trying to work it into submission. He was not troubled by the muddy ground, the rain coming down or any other creatures out in the field. He was busy taking time to play in the rain.

You will have to go to SchmidlinAngusFarms to see the pictures since this site is nearly out of data space. Thank you for following my stories and all the farm adventures.

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

 

 

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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Crossing Paths

Susan’s note: This site is nearly out of data space, at last check .08%  is left even after deleting and downsizing. I will continue to post as long as I can before I am blocked completely. If you would like to see the whole story including pictures, please visit the new farm blog at SchmidlinAngusFarms.com or simply click this link. The follow button is now working on the new site, even if you signed up before the connection did not go through due to some very technical keystrokes that I failed to execute. By trying the follow button now, you will be prompted to insert your email address and will get an email to attest that you are indeed a human. If you see the words ‘Cowpies to Treetops’ below the heading of Schmidlin Angus Farms, you know that you are connected.

We were on our way across the river to feed the main herd their evening meal when Mike noticed a small herd of about twenty elk in the far, far field. Not willing to let resting elk lay, he whistled and hollered at them to get out of our field. They did move but they did not run away. Mike had started a wild critter stampede. Continue reading

I Didn’t Like That Fork Anyway

There is just something about the nature of things that change when Mike is away. The universe seems to sense that there is an imbalance and works to counter with unusual force.

A broken pitchfork on a hay baleMike had only been gone on a short get-away and less than 24 hours after he left, I ran into an issue. I skewered a slab of hay to toss into the manger for the three young bulls and the tines flew off the top of the handle still stuck in the slab.

A broken tool now and again isn’t unusual on the farm, but this fork had survived a good long time without a warning that the handle was rotting away from the metal tines. There had been no looseness about the tool, it seemed sturdy without any wobble. Continue reading