Friday, November 20, 2009

Busy day . . .

Today we brought another cow down from Steve's place.  Her name is Delilah.  Steve never names his cows, and when we had our first three cows down at his place, he would scoff about the names.  I would say something about Rosie, and he would say, "You mean 930."

The other day I left him a message and told him we had named the first cow he sent Phyllis.  I expected to take some heat for it, but when he came down today after Delilah was delivered, he actually referred to Phyllis as . . . Phyllis!  When I told him the one we got today was Delilah, he just chuckled.

Delilah came down with her calf.  That is good.  It is a strong little bull.  He will stay here for a few weeks, until he goes to the sale barn.

Steve is not easy to get to know.  He has always seemed pretty removed from the emotional end of farming, as evidenced by "930."  But he told me that he didn't want to ship the bull calf to the sale barn just yet, please keep him with the cow for three weeks or so.  It surprised me.  He actually said that he hated to part them too soon.  It is not what I would have expected from him.

I don't mind keeping the calf for awhile.  It is bothersome to me as well.  When we separate our calves from mom, the calves are in a pen near the barn, and the mothers can stop and talk to their young 'uns on the way in to the milking parlor.  It does seem to be a good thing.  There is much lowing, and often some nose touching through the fence. 

Steve said we needed to keep the cows on rotation in the pastures, even though I didn't think there was any decent forage in them.  He said that wasn't true, there was plenty and it would make serve as a catalyst to help them absorb the nutrition in the balage they are now getting every day.  So I went to #12 and #13 to set up the gates for tonight.  I knew the electric fence wasn't sending out much current, but the animals were staying in, so I hadn't gone looking for any problems.  Well, there were problems in #13!  The fence had gotten completely knocked off a corner post.  That had to be deer.  The cows haven't been in that pasture for weeks, and I would have noticed it.  The fence was touching metal in at least three places.  I got that taken care of, used the fence checker and found a heavy draw on another piece of fence.  It was a long walk, but I found a broken insulator, and on another post the fence had popped out of both insulators.  In all cases, there was electrified wire  against metal.  The insulator problem meant walking back to the barn to unplug the fence, pick up tools and replacement parts, than another walk out to the fence - almost at the far end of the pastures, of course.  I got everything fixed, then hiked back to the barn with the tools and broken parts.

I'm making sauerkraut and ribs tonight.  It smells divine.  So do the four loaves I baked for market.  But I still need to make a batch of lip gloss and some organic yarrow cream for market so I can't quit just yet.  By the time I get to those ribs, which are in a very slow oven, they will melt in my mouth!

Well, back to the Moop.  Henny Penny didn't want to go in yet, so I have to make another trip.  Oh, and Buster is doing his thing.  Gosh, that is a violent act with chickens!  There may be some little Campines running around here in the future.  Wasn't in the plan, there weren't even supposed to be any roosters when I ordered the chicks, but who am I to mess with Mother Nature?  I got what I got, and they're doin' what they're doin'!

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