I was challenged to spend 15 minutes a day getting caught up on my paperwork but I have not made it there yet! I did in fact go to the desk to start, but was called away. I never made it back and my 15 minute challenge is looming over me!
In the mean time, my life has been filled with both the mundane and the adventures of farm life. Yesterday I canned 1/2 bushel of tomatoes making seven quarts of tomato juice. That is only a fraction of what I will do before the summer is over, but I had to start somewhere!
Yesterday afternoon Little Bull~Dudley was delivered to our farm. He is a miniature bull that was raised here on our farm until he was about four months old at which time I sold him to a local lady. He is now the perfect age to service the females, and when I decided not to AI (artificially inseminate), I called up his owner and asked her if I could lease him for a while. He was very good when his owner took him off the trailer and led him down to the fence. In fact, when the dogs (who were in their own little yard with a fence between them and Dudley) barked at him, he did no more than glance in their direction. However, Little Bull~Dudley shows signs of really having an attitude. His older brother was my bull Peanut that I completely dam raised and was never handled and who was a perfect gentleman in the field. Dudley was started the same way, but his new owner has handled him differently and he definitely has some aggressive tendencies. We put all the lactating cows in the back field with the bull where the fence is the best. We kept the dry cows and Princess, the heifer in the front field where the fence is pretty much just a deterrent and could easily be stepped over if the cows decided they wanted to do so. So, in order for me to milk, the lactating cows have to come from the back field and through a series of gates. This works fine until one decides not to come because I have changed the routine. While Mayfield was trying to decide whether the new routine was worth her effort, I decided that I was not going in the field with Little Bull~Dudley. That was a wise move because later when Mike went in the field with him, he definitely showed some attitude. It's really a shame, as Little Bull~Dudley is a fine specimen of a miniature Jersey bull.
We tried to get to supper before 9pm and we were actually successful! We ate a little after 8pm!
This morning, Mike started the milking and I finished it because he had to go on down and get produce up on the table at the farm. Afterwards, I finished cleaning out the chicken house. (One of the projects I started but didn't finish yesterday.) Then, I decided to clean out the feed room at the end of the stables where I keep my bantam chickens and my lame chicken.
The little lame chicken was one that I hatched out with my incubator this spring. She/He was born with a leg that is completely stiff and a foot that is turned under backwards. I know we should have "culled" the chicken out of the flock, but Mike and I both felt sorry for him. I let him live with my bantams because they tolerate him and don't pick on him. When I began cleaning out their house, all of the bantams flew out the door to free range for a while. The lame chicken, a Rhode Island Red, finally limped outside and around the corner. When I was all finished shovelling chicken poop, I went around the corner and could not believe my eyes. There was the lame chicken and Little Dave, my mini Jersey bull calf. Dave was grooming the chicken! I watched for a few moments as Dave gently licked the chickens feathers and "comforted" him and then went on about my business.
About a half an hour later, I came back and could not believe my eyes! Now Little Dave had been joined by Zorro, the mini Jersey steer and they were both grooming the chicken! I would not have believed it if I had not seen it with my own eyes! They were gentle with the chicken and the chicken seemed completely comfortable with all the attention he was getting. The two calves would gently nudge the chicken and the chicken stayed right with them. At one point, the bird began to limp off and Zorro reached out and used his mouth to grab the lame chickens leg and pull him back. The truth is definitely stranger than fiction.
In the mean time, while I was spending all this time cleaning in the barnyard, three of my adult dogs were at the house barking their heads off. They had been barking at a juvenile skunk for over an hour. This little skunk had been tormenting us for the last couple of weeks. Once he was out walking around the house and the dogs cornered him against the house and fortunately did so without getting sprayed. Because he was so close to the house, Mike was not able to shoot him. Mike followed him from a distance and saw him go under the landing of the steps at our front porch. Mike waited for what seemed like an hour for that little skunk to come out so that he could get him, but the little skunk was smart enough to stay where he would be safe.
Since the little skunk had already managed to spray the dogs this morning, I figured I would just let them try to get him. The damage had already been done and it would at least be rewarding to not have to deal with the stinky little fellow anymore. When I got back to the house, I was "rewarded" with three very disgusting smelling dogs who were quite proud of their accomplishments. They presented me with a dead skunk. Of course, since there was a dead skunk laying on my front porch, I had to do something with it before folks started arriving to pick up their milk shares!
I wonder how many weeks or months it will be until my house and dogs no longer smell like skunk?
Never a dull moment!
(Pictures of Dudley as a calf and as a 14 month old bull)