I Remember Petey

These memories of mine come from about 6 or so years ago. I don’t think my husband and I were married yet and we definitely didn’t have any kiddos. Calving has brought me this memory and one new calf in particular.

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He’s a twin that we put on a heifer that lost her own calf. The heifer didn’t have much milk at first so I went out to the barn and bottle fed this guy. Boy, he’s rambunctious!!

Anyways, about 6 years we had a brand new calf that had his leg stepped on by a cow. We threw a towel down on the backseat of the Dodge and raced an hour to the vet. Guess who is the lucky girl that got to sit back there with that sweet baby? Yep, it was me! And on the way I named him Petey.

The veterinarian checked him all out and got a cast put on his leg and then we drove him home. We babied him and watched out to make sure he was healing well. Needless to say, he ended up chasing around the pasture with the other calves by late spring.

Hanging around this new bottle fed calf has me missing Petey. I’m just lucky I get to have these great memories.

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*Both pictures are of my new bottle feeding calf, not Petey.*

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A Farm Story from 2007

Before I even knew what a blog was, I would write these Farm Stories and email them to a few members of my family. Recently my older sister Annette was clearing out an old email inbox and sent this back to me.

Date: Tue, 11 Sep 2007

Here’s a story I’ve written…just a rough draft. Hope you like it!

This story takes place sometime in February or March of 2005, my first
month of living on the farm. Brad conned me into going out to the barn to
watch him and his younger brother Edward pull a calf. I changed into old
sweats and bundled up against the cold. I tagged along with much
apprehension and stood quite a ways behind the cow and the boys. Brad put a chain around the calf’s hooves while Edward held the tail up. I was quite
disgusted by the whole sight so I turned around to face the barn wall. Next
thing I know, a hot gooey liquid sprays the back of me from head to toe! I
turn around in tears and Brad and Edward are laughing at me! I was too
shocked to ask what it was although I could have guessed by their laughter.
Brad, between laughs, informs me that has never happened before in his
whole…and not since! Good thing I had my hood up!

Guard Cows

A few years back, I was out here in the hills with my newborn son and no one else. It was hunting season which is a pretty big thing around here. It was late afternoon and I heard shots. Loud shots. Close shots. And I was scared. There’s always a little fear when I’m here by myself because we are so rural. I think 4 or 5 shots rang out and I noticed they were coming from somewhere in front of my house. Soon after they quit I realized how freaking irate I was! How dare someone shoot a gun so close to my house, our shops and our corrals??? I phoned my husband and he raced out here but the person/peoples were already gone. However, there was blood in the snow in our haystack.

We did eventually find out who it was and husband gave him a stern talking to. He was just a young teenager from a nearby farm. And he knows better than to be hunting around people’s farmyards now.

Anyways, I have gotten off topic. I was hanging out with my kids late this afternoon when I saw the glint off a truck’s grill out in one of our fields. There is no hunting on our land if you haven’t asked us for permission. Main reason being, we have cattle. Very easy for our cows to be in the fields and someone starts shooting. I can’t even imagine how mad my husband would be. I watched out the window for a bit as this truck drove around out there. Again, it’s hunting season and no one came in the yard or asked permission. There’s nothing I could do from the house but I want people to know to ask the landowner before hunting or just cruising around unknown land.

I tweeted that I had seen this truck and that no one had permission. And was told to release the hound. Well my 13 year old dog, Homer is in no rush to run far afield to chase a truck. Different story if you are a strange vehicle coming in my yard. I replied back that I should release the cows, all 200 of them, and they could stampede that truck. Wouldn’t that be scary? Or better yet, our 3 massive bulls could dent that pick up truck pretty good. And scare off the hunters. Maybe they could get the message out to ask permission.

All in all, I’m glad I have a guard dog, guard cows and guard bulls. And great people on Twitter! This is your warning to stay off my land 😛

 

This one’s for my sister Nette. You can check out her awesome writing skills over at www.clubnette.com Read one of her Moe stories and you’ll want to read them all!

 

A Cattle Procedure From Way Back

I won’t show gross photos! We dehorn our calves every Fall. It is kind of gross in person. There is blood. But I won’t show that. I don’t want to scare my few followers away. It’s actually fun though. I love chasing the herd into the corrals and rounding them up to get them through chute. This year it was just me, my husband, my mother in law and a good friend of ours. We ran all 200 cows plus that many calves and our three bulls through the chute. The cows and bulls got vaccinated against some diseases and the calves got dehorned. Out of 200 calves I’d say only about 30 had horns that needed to be cut off. Back in the day, before I arrived here, they used a wire with two wooden handles and sort of sawed the horns off. Now we have a dehorner the cuts them off. It’s a lot easier and less time consuming.

We have to trim the hair around the horns for an easier grab with the dehorners first. then the horns get cut off and we slap some flour on the holes to help stop the bleeding. Since we’ll be selling the calves in a couple weeks, if they just had tiny nubs for horns we left them be. It’s a pretty straight forward process and doesn’t take long if everyone, cattle included, cooperate and do their jobs.

My husband runs the main chute (head gate) because he is the strongest and most knowledgeable. Also if a cow or calf gets through without being properly processed it’s all his fault and the rest of us don’t get crap. Last winter my husband bought a couple purebred heifers who birthed purebred bull calves. So we kept their nuts on them and hope to sell them in the Spring as purebreds. We put them in with the bulls and they look so small compared to the big grown bulls.

And just cause I like the look of a nice golden straw bale.

Poop, Poop and More Poop

I am a Mommy. And a stay at home Mommy at that. So I know poop. I’ve been changing diapers and wiping bums for 3 years straight now. I also live on a farm. A farm that has cattle. So I know cow poop too.

A big time every Fall on this farm is when the corral cleaners show up. This year was a little later than usual so we had a lot of snow on the ground when they started hauling the poop out. The snow was actually a benefit because it kept the horrid smell down. We spread the poop over fields for some natural fertilizer.

When I first moved out here, I went for a ride in the tractor spreading manure. I had never been on a farm prior to moving out here. So I wore flip flops to walk through the corrals and get in the tractor. Needless to say, I was bawling after I was done because I had cow poo all over my feet. I’m not such a wuss 9 years later.

This Is How We Roll

I love evening cruises! The temperature cools down and there’s peace and quiet around here.

We drive many evenings through our pastures to check on our cows and calves. Or we take the grid roads to see how our crops are doing.

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I love our little corner of this great Earth!

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A Brave Boy

This is my first really combined post. I want to write about my family and the farm. Because my little boy went for dental surgery and it was a tough day. But the evening was beautiful.

My 2YO had teeth pulled yesterday along with some caps and fillings. All this due to a sippy cup of milk at bedtime for over a year. Yes, we’ve learned our lesson. Yes, we feel terrible about it.

By the time supper rolled around last night he was talking more and getting back to normal. So we decided to check the cows in their new pasture and the crops around our home farm.

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He really enjoyed himself out in the truck with us. It was a nice relaxing time that we all enjoyed. A beautiful summer evening.

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We had to go on a wild goose chase through the pasture to find one of my cows. She’s pretty old and has a hurt back leg. I was scared she’d be found dead but she was laying nicely beside slough. Just cooling off and enjoying the evening.

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We also found two duck nests snuggled right into the ground. They were only a foot apart and both full of eggs. One more covered with straw and feathers but both protected. I could count 9 eggs in the one nest.

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After our pasture visit we drove around and looked at our crops. The heat has been strong here for a couple weeks and no rain. It looks like some of the crops are burning in the heat. So we checked our canola and it looks AWESOME!

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So go enjoy a nice summer evening drive or even a walk. It just may cheer someone in your family up.

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