New Calf

Our new calf is doing very well.  He is fully of energy and devouring his bottle.  We usually have to watch new calves for an initial energy drop, scours and the like.  So far, so good.

New Calf

New Calf (With Anna giving a bottle)

By the way, we have not picked a name yet.

– Stan


Morning and Full Bellies

Sunrise on the farm is usually very pretty.  If I’m on schedule that means I’m up BEFORE the sunrise.  Yesterday I was a bit behind schedule, but that allowed me to catch a pretty sunrise.  As usual, the camera does not really capture it.



Some mornings take longer for chores than others.  It depends… did it rain the night before ? (tanks will be full of water)… Did the chickens finish off their feed? … etc.  On this morning it took a bit longer.  The cats are fed first, so by the time I’m ready to go in here was “Purr Box”:

Purr Box

Purr Box with a full belly

… and “Camo Kitty”

Camo Kitty

Camo Kitty with a full belly

– Stan

He is Here! First calf of the season

He was delivered today. The first calf of the 2012 season. He is a Jersey calf. He is light brown with some very nice white spots on his side.

The photo really does not do him justice. It’s hard to get a good photo in the dark barn when the calf won’t be still.

They say that the Holsteins bring more money at sale time, but I really like the look of the Jersey better.

First Calf Fall 2012

First Calf Fall 2012

No bottle for him tonight, that’s already been taken care of, but the work begins tomorrow… early… Welcome to warm bottles, and cold 5am mornings.

– Stan

Internet, Rain, Lightning and MM

Well, this is not totally farm related, but it is part of farm life, so I thought I would post it…

I knew today might be crazy.  I had planed to switch my internet from Windstream to TWC today.  When something like that happens, it usually takes a while to get my systems up and running.  Since I’m an IT guy I have routers, modems, and cables going everywhere.

The switch over went pretty well, and it’s MUCH faster.  Yippie!  However after that things went crazy.  I storm snuck up on us quickly.  First it made a quick “pop” that caused everything to turn off and on.  That happens often, so I didn’t think much of it.  As usual, that putt Minnie Mae in “Freak Out” mode.

MM under desk

Minnie Mae under my desk during the storm

She usually starts shaking uncontrollably and follows me around.  This time she hid under the desk.  (A first)  I should have paid more attention, because right after that a bolt of lightning hit our glass door…I heard the crackle and saw the flash.  I would have thought the glass would break, but I guess not.

I have yet to venture out to see the damage.  I’m too chicken.  The storm has been nasty off and on since.  And this has been MM since then:

MM at my feet

I’m at my desk and MM is at my feet

Yep.  Right at my feet.  I can barely roll my chair.  Good thing I don’t have to move a lot right now.

During the storm I powered everything off right in the middle of reconfiguration of my network, so now I have to get going again.

Gotta go.

– Stan.

OH, PS – I am VERY thankful for more rain.  (He sends rain to the Godly and the ungodly BTW)  Keep it coming!

It is that time again

Phone call this morning.  “I have a Jersey bull calf…”  Well, that got things started, and it led to this purchase; the first 100 lbs. of milk calf milk replacer.

Milk Replacer

First milk replacer of the year

This is the first calf that we will be taking this fall.  I hope to raise at least five of them through fall and winter.  In the spring we will begin selling and processing last years steers.  That is how the cycle goes.  The cycle is actually longer than a calendar year.  We are aiming for 18 months on the steers, so we will be finishing steers and starting calves on the bottle at the same time.  Yikes!  It’s going to be a busy winter.

After selling off some of the cows in the spring we hope to add heifers into the mix, but that all depends on money, what we can find, etc.  Ideally I want some Herefords, but we will see how things go.

I’ll try to post a picture of the calf soon.

– Stan.

Pumba says “Good morning”

Pumba is the largest of our cows.  He is also the most friendly, probably because I spent a lot of time standing with him in the stall while he drank his bottle.  He is a very curious cow as well.  This is him saying “good morning” while I waited for the water tank to fill up.

Pumba Good Morning

Pumba Says “good morning”

The Farm this week ending 9/22/12

The drought this year hit us initially, but we had a break from it earlier than others.  Even though the drought was not “terrible” for us, our pastures really needed a good jolt of rain.  That came this week and it was beautiful!

Rain Yippie

Rain. Yippie!

The pigs are doing great.  They used to run when I came out, now they run to the corner of the pen waiting for me to come in.  If I don’t hold the bucket, they knock it over and start fighting over who gets the first boiled egg.  (I give them two boiled eggs per day to help with protein, etc.)

Growing Pigs

Growing Pigs

Lucy and Limpy hanging out to together while the cows eat. (I try to give Lucy a little treat in the goat shed where the cows can’t get to her)

Lucy and Limpy

Lucy and Limpy

All of the cows crowd in and chow down.

Cow Crowd

The cows crowd in for feed

I’ve changed the way I feed the chickens.  I bought a HUGE back of poultry pre-mix, enough to male a ton of feed.  I’ve been mixing that into my feed base 50 lbs. at a time and trying to keep the laying hens supplied with that in addition to what they get from free ranging.  I think the egg quantity is starting to pick up a bit.  They quality was never really bad, I just need this to “perform” a bit better in order to earn their keep. 😉


More Eggs

More Eggs

I let out the free rangers every morning.  Lately they have started snacking on the cats food before the cats can eat it. … Therefore, I moved the cat food to a higher location in the bar, feed the cats first, and also put out some mixed feed in the middle of the barn to keep them occupied until the cats finish.  It kinda works…

Free Rangers

Free Rangers chowing down in the barn

Typical Minnie Mae

Typical MM

Typical Minnie Mae

These girls don’t get much photo time on the blog, partly because they are a bit boring, and partly because they look rough due to an overaggressive rooster.  However, these are my main laying hens right now, even though the “free rangers” are giving them a challenge in the quantity department.


Laying Hens

Laying Hens

These are the “Jr birds”.  They are not laying yet, nor have they been merged into the laying hen flock yet.  Eventually… (sorry about the photo quality)

Jr birds

Jr birds

Well, that is the week wrap up.

– Stan