Friday, June 4, 2010
Additions and Losses
I am really having a hard time keeping up with my blog lately! And, I have done a very poor job of keeping up with other's blogs as well! When winter comes again maybe I will finally get the chance to catch up with my "fellow bloggers". (A sexist comment, I know, but I couldn't think of any other way to say it!) So, I hope this finds all my blog readers and blogging friends well and enjoying the new season.
Mike has been busy in the hay fields and in the garden. We still have not opened our produce stand but will probably do so next week. We are a little behind schedule this year in part due to the weather and the way the crops have grown and in part just because we have been so busy doing other things.
Mayfield, my eleven year old foundation pure Miniature Jersey calved about a week early but had a difficult delivery in that the calf did not present itself correctly. We lost the calf and of course, it was a little heifer. She was perfect and would have been a small mini. It was a tough loss financially and emotionally. Mayfield had her own share of problems after the delivery and was not able to stand due to some temporary paralysis. We had to use a hip lift to get her up but she has been doing fairly well since then. She has been depressed and unwilling to enter the stanchion to be milked but as of yesterday decided to come in on her own.
This has certainly not been a good year for me with the dairy cows. We lost both foundation pure miniature calves one at birth and one shortly thereafter. We have two more cows due this year, one in July and one in November. Both of these will be standard size calves.
I have been busy finding new homes for bull and bull calves. We made a trip to Georgia to visit family and took along Zeke, a standard size bull calf. He has a new home with my brother who will use him to breed his heifer when they are both old enough. We also picked up Breyer, a foundation pure Miniature Jersey bull, and transported him to his new home in Tennessee. When we returned, I finalized the sale of Little Bull, another foundation pure Miniature Jersey bull, and his new owner picked him up and took him to Colorado.
While in Georgia, we picked up four, mixed breed, feeder pigs. Then we picked up an additional six pigs in Bedford County, VA on our way home. Some friends took four of the piglets (two pigs from the Georgia group and two from the Virginia group) and we are left with six pigs to raise up. We ended up getting two pure bred red wattle pigs in the mix and the breeder is willing to give us registration papers on them. We are seriously considering raising them for breeders and just butchering the other four piglets when they are big enough this fall. Red Wattle pigs are on the critically endangered list and a breed that I have considered in the past. Raising heritage breed animals is a privelege and I am thankful for this opportunity to have a part in preserving this breed for the future.
In addition to the new pigs, we also have a new goat. Nutmeg (Meggie) came to us when I saw that her current family needed to find a new home for her. She is so sweet and gentle. She was still taking a bottle once a day when we got her and we loved giving her a bottle so much that it was hard (on us) to wean her. However, I have finally taken the bottle away and she is doing great. She is a Nubian/Alpine cross.
(Pictures of mixed breed pigs before leaving Georgia. We only ended up with two of these pigs, one of them being the little black one.)