In order to really appreciate the basis of the calf's name, one must feel giddy with exhaustion from having worked too hard for too long and must be lacking for any form of entertainment save what one can experience from associating with the animals. If you can put yourself in those shoes, then you can truly appreciate the origin of this cute little calf's name. Otherwise, you are correct in assuming after reading this story that Farmer Tammy is one french fry short of a Happy Meal.
Speaking of "Farmer Tammy", let me digress for a moment to say that one of the highlights of my day yesterday was to encounter one of my little share members at the garden center at Lowes. I was deeply engrossed in counting out my hard earned cash to pay for geraniums when I heard a little voice say, "Hi, Farmer Tammy!" I looked up to see a little Princess dressed in her lovely Princess dress with a friend dressed in the same manner. When I glanced up at the mother standing between the two children holding tightly to their hands walking through the busy parking lot, I realized the little darling was one of the children who benefits from the drinking raw milk from our Jersey cows through our herd share program. What a joy to see those beautiful faces and to be recognized as "Farmer Tammy" by one so young!
Oh........and speaking of geraniums, how is that something so simply can add so much beauty to such a drab setting as the area under our deck? I try to keep it simple in that area because our house being an octagon creates a "silo" affect and the air circles around the house with some strong gusts on this hill causing all the leaves, dirt, and debris to deposit under the deck and right in front of the door. A few simple geraniums in strategic locations and an old corn sheller used as a planter will be the extent of my summer flowers for that particular area. I think the seat and the rocking chair could use a fresh coat of paint and I am thinking bright red to match the geraniums, but who knows when I will ever get around to that!
And since we are on the subject of flowers, I thought I would post a photo of the flowers I planted in front of our milk kitchen. Bright is the theme! Again, keeping it simple. My life is so busy, I need simple.
Today I was not as nice a day as yesterday and since I have neglected cleaning my house for weeks, I decided to try out some of the "Do It Yourself Natural Cleaners" that I found on Pinterest. But, that is a whole nother blog post. Perhaps I will get to that one tomorrow. Hopefully I will also eventually get to the blog post I promised weeks ago on "Colostrum" but don't hold your breath!
Ah.....now that I have chased a number of "rabbit trails", back to Patrick MacDonald and my crazy state of mind.
On St. Patrick's Day a nice little "Baldy" was born into our beef herd. Mike didn't think too much about it. His momma accepted him and he was busy nursing. Several days later however, Mike noticed that the calf was looking poorly and scruffing around in the dirt like he was very hungry. Upon closer inspection, Mike found out that the momma cow had what Mike referred to as a "bealed" udder. Now, I am not sure that is an official term, but my definition of what Mike was trying to tell me is that for whatever reason, the cow probably got mastitis at one time or another causing her udder to harden and making it almost impossible for the calf to get milk out of the damaged udder. Upon reflection, Mike remembered that this particular cow had lost a calf at birth last year and we assume that rather than dry herself up, she became mastitic and then "bealed". Unlike the dairy herd where we monitor the udders twice a day, the beef cows are not tame and it is next to impossible for us to closely monitor their udders. Truth is, in a situation such as this, most of them simply dry off because they don't produce the amount of milk that a dairy cow produces. This particular cow however, probably had a small bit of Holstein in her ancestry and was producing more milk than normal for a beef cow.
Try as he might, this little calf born on St. Patrick's day was unable to get enough milk to survive and Mike started bottle feeding him using some of our rich, Jersey milk. He left the calf in the field with momma for a while but had to make the difficult decision to cull the momma cow because she is no good as a brood cow if she can't provide nourishment for her babies. This is a hard part of farming but there comes a time when culling is absolutely necessary.
So, yesterday, the little beef steer came up to the house where I keep my dairy herd to make it easier for us to bottle feed him. We had hoped that perhaps one of the Jersey momma's would take him and assumed it would be Apple. However, she has done nothing more than lick him to this point. We will continue to bottle feed him unless we find out she has accepted him as her own.
Originally when I learned we would get this little calf grafted into our dairy herd, I suggested we call him Donald because Apple's calf is named Mac (short for Macintosh). I thought we could have a Mac & a Donald. However, when I realized upon looking at the tag in the calf's ear that he was a St. Patty's day baby, I knew we had to include the name Patrick. Poor little steer is destined to be burger someday as his name implies:
Ok, I know...........I need some rest and some outside entertainment. You can't say I didn't warn you!
***Note: Last year we grafted an orphan calf onto Apple that we named "Jill" since we had named her bull calf "Jack". Apple has not yet accepted this calf to let him nurse, but she is licking him and mothering him otherwise. We will continue to bottle feed unless she allows him to nurse.