My life just gets crazier and I am beginning to wonder just how much one person can take!

Here is a post that I wrote on a forum I frequent about my day yesterday:

I should be using what little energy I have left to freeze green beans and squash and pick up the house before my share members get here to pick up their milk.

I am exhausted from feeding the puppies night and day and I am not even sure what day it is at this point. I am so very thankful that they are doing very well. A
minor set back has been that about half of them are very constipated and I am waiting for the clinic to open to call them and see what they suggest. I was doing well wiping their little hineys but last night they started to get stopped up. Then someone must have "blown" later because when I removed the blanket to feed them around midnight, they were stinking and had yellow poop all over the lot of them. I gave them a "sponge" bath to try to get the worse off. I still have about four out of the seven that are constipated and wiping them has turned into a very gross, drawn out routine to try to extract the poop plugs from their behinds! (Sorry if that was too graphic, I am too tired to be diplomatic! )

After the last feeding, Mike and I went out to milk the cows. Should be routine right? Not! Cookie is being a pain in the butt! She is fine when we get her into the stanchion and is easy to milk, but getting her there is unreal! She is not use to having this much space and we have had her in a smaller area for a few days but then turned her out so that she could graze. She leaves her baby and then can't remember where she left him. She will bawl like crazy for him but can't find him. I have to go out several times a day and reunite them. Sometimes she acts like she doesn't care one thing about him but if I pen him up then she goes crazy because she wants him out with her so she can promptly lose him again. I would just bottle feed him, but would like to keep him or sell him as a bull, so I don't really want to handle and bottle feed him. Besides, I am feeding too many bottles right now as it is!

Anyway, Cookie goes to the farthest field away from the house and DH wants it left open because he wants the cows to eat on that field, so I can't shut it off. All the other cows line up and wait to be milked but not Cookie. Cookie doesn't come when I call. She is not lead trained and is to big to push or pull. She is a huge cow. No problem for us normally because we don't need cows to be lead trained with our set up BUT they all are interested in being milked. I don't think Cookie is trying to be difficult. She just acts like she doesn't get it. I swear the Dutch Belted in her makes her stupid! All my Jerseys are just so smart and Cookie just seems so oblivious to everything. She is a good, sweet cow but she just doesn't get it! Not the baby thing or the stanchion thing! In her defense, she was a dairy cow for most of her life and never raised a baby and then when Elissa owned her, she did not have a huge area to roam like she does here. Also she was tied up outside and hand milked at Elissa's. I would think though that she would be smart enough to remember what a stanchion is since she is a former dairy cow!

The good news is that Cookie is an easy milker and is already giving five gallons a day with a calf on her. I can't imagine what she is going to do at her peak. Her milk seems to be more homogenized, which would also be a Dutch Belted trait. Of course, she could just be holding up the cream for the baby she can't keep track of!

So, I have to go to the far corners of the property to get Cookie and we don't own a four wheeler, so it's on foot. I get there and she won't come. So, I put a halter on the calf and start to force him up the hill. We have hills in Virginia and I was already running on empty but forcing that calf up the hill from the far corners of the property really did me in! Cookie acted like she wasn't even going to follow, but finally she did.

Add to the mix the fact that Princess is in heat today. Princess has loud, obnoxious, crazy heats and all the cows were trying to ride her. Princess is small (half mini) and these huge cows including pregnant Nelly are riding her and I swear they are going to smash her into the ground. Nelly gets her leg hung around Princess neck and I am freaking out. (Still trying to get Cookie and bull calf up the hill.)

Princess decides I look like a great person to follow so she follows me up the hill. When I finally arrive Mike is not quite finished milking Mayfield and I tie Red Bull (what I have been calling the calf) to a post. He is fighting the post but I know that Cookie probably won't stray to far if I leave him tied. I figure it's a good time to break him. We usually don't break our bull calves to lead but I am thinking it might be a good idea with this one because if I can control him, maybe I can get his momma to figure things out!

Mike doesn't really care to see a calf that young being tied and he was not happy with my arrangment. He comes from old school where they just run free with their momma and he is telling me the calf will hate me forever and be wild because I am tying him up. I don't have time to even think about what he is saying because we have milk to get up to the frig and we now have to make two trips because I can't get it all in the Surge with just one trip. Mike takes off to get the milk to the house and I turn around to see Cookie (VERY, VERY BIG) riding Princess (VERY, VERY SMALL) and they become a tangled mess where Red Bull is tied. Princess becomes tangled in Red Bull's lead rope and he has a look on his face of "Oh my gosh, I'm gonna die! She's choking me to death!". I have no choice but to turn Red Bull off the lead and untangle them all.

A few choice expletives are now spewing from my mouth. Hey, at least I was angry and not crying! I didn't have time to end up a blubbering mess!

Cookie promptly takes Red Bull and goes to the OTHER end of the property! Mike retrieves her this time.

I start milking Cookie but leave Mike to finish as I decide that Princess is going into solitary today for her own well being and my sanity. So, I put her in the back field and have to haul water to her and get the gate put across. There she remains bawling her head off and looking for love!


Mike came home last night and said that our new bull is limping badly. We assume that he got into a fight with the other bull or extended himself with too much romance, but it doesn't look to good right now. This is a registered, Angus bull that we have owned for about a month.

In addition, the produce stand is doing almost no business this year and we just don't understand. We have been booming in years past and now we have days when only a couple of people will show up.

Our baler broke last week and my FIL who can fix anything couldn't figure it out. A man came out from the company to repair it and has been out three or four times and can't figure out what is wrong. They were able to rig something so that they can use it now, but it's still not fixed and they have to take extra steps while baling in order to use it.

My FIL also found out that they won't accept wheat locally now and had to sign a contract with someone out of Texas for his wheat and has to haul it further for pick-up to be shipped out of state.

This morning Cookie did pretty good coming in to be milked (last night I milked by myself and tied her calf up by the stanchion while I milked. I am not sure how Mike got her in this morning as I was not out there when he started milking.) Anyway, Cookie has diarrhea today and we don't know why. She was fine yesterday and has diarrhea today. So, that has got me worried.

In addition, something is wrong with Midnight. She is limping very badly. Mike thinks one of the other cows injured her. It is in her right front shoulder. Mike was going to give her a shot for the pain and she was not tied good and got loose and then we could not catch her. He had to go to the other farm, so I spent 30 minutes trying to get ahold of her. I finally got her close to a tree and grabbed the lead and tied her up. When I calm down and she calms down, I will try to move her to the barn.

Right now, if someone were to offer me a price for all my animals excluding my dogs and my miniature cattle, I would sell them everyone!

1 comment:

Corinne said...

Oh WOW Tammy! I don't know how you do it! I'm exhausted after reading that post!