Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Another jewel at my feet - and a bit about the calves

Of all the weird things, I found another egg on the ground outside the Moop.  If I hadn't been looking down carefully, I would have stepped on it - white egg lying in the snow, you know.  One of the girls is confused, or has a rather unusual sense of humor - or perhaps she is just testing me to see if I am smart enough not to step on an egg as I am leaving the Moop.

Today was a six-egg day, but last three yielded only four eggs each day.  And it has become daily habit for all of them to lay in the same nest.  Not the same nest every day, but once one of the girls does her thing, then they all use the same one that day.  I used to find them in two or three different nests, but it has been at least a week since I have found them spread out.

Now a bit about the calves, the calves which I have pretty much ignored this year.  Except for Jack giving me a scare with his bit of illness, which turned out to be only some constipation, I pretty much keep their water tank full, throw a couple of flakes of grassy hay over the fence for their morning treat each day and call it quits.

Last year's calves were our first.  We sold both the calves the year before, since we were still keeping our cows at Steve's and it would have been pretty much impossible to do anything else.  But last year we kept our first three heifer calves, and I fed them every morning for 90 days.  I babied them, and they were so cute!  When I went in the pen with them, they were all over me, would head butt me if I didn't give them enough attention, and in general were my good buddies.  I don't quite know what happened this year.  Blas√© about our second set of calves, I guess, and also my mood was not too good doing that morning milking for three months this year.  For some reason, it was harder this year than last - just because I'm a year older, perhaps.  But it could be that these calves just simply weren't as friendly.  Two of the mothers were not particularly easygoing - Lola was skittish, and Quattro is just plain mean - and maybe those were traits they passed on to their kids.

All that being said, I have found myself bellying up to the three of them lately, trying to get them to warm up to me a bit.  It is a little more difficult at this stage of the game.  Essie May has always been shy, and her mother Quattro is no one's friend, so that one is probably a lost cause, but Jack and Zelda are getting a little friendlier over time.  Perhaps one of these days I will get a kiss, just like I did from Lucky, Smarty Pants and Dolly.

Oh, I found the second disappearing chicken's body this morning, about 20 feet from the door into the Moop.  I don't know how I missed her for the past few days.  Perhaps Tashi brought her home.

I am the animals' caretaker - all of them:  cows, calves, bull, hens and rooster, cat and dogs - and it is a bit burdensome to know that another of them died on my watch.

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