Sunday, February 6, 2011

Funny Farm Part 3

Finally its Sunday and the weekend is almost over. My Brother, Jared and Sister-in-Law, Betsey, come to help me feed the cows in the pasture. This is the feed truck stuck in the mud. My Brother was driving not me! Betsey was not amused.

Jared walks back to the yard and starts up the backhoe. We load the last bale intended for the bull field and use the backhoe to feed.
Here is Jared hooking up the tow strap to tow the feed truck back to the barn. We got so much rain Saturday night that parts of the pasture were like soup. You can't really see it but it is raining, more like a drizzle, the whole time we are trying to feed. Not much fun...

So after this we decided to head back into town and Jared cooked us girls waffles for breakfast! Thanks Stu! (Stu is his nickname)
I have many more photos but these were the highlights of the weekend. Let's just say that I was glad that my Parents made it back Monday afternoon with their new addition "Hank" and nothing died. :)

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Funny Farm Part 2

Meet Toro. Yes that is the back door. He likes to look into the house and suck on the door knob...
When I head back to the Funny Farm on Saturday evening I have the usual chores of feeding the calf and dogs but also collecting the eggs. The girls were productive today and there were 9 eggs!

So back into the house to mix Toro's bottle. The new style of bottles are larger and have nifty screw on nipples. Let's just say the old style nipple is a pain to get on the bottle and you end up wearing half the bottle trying. And calfmana smells terrible! Notice the little bag of minerals in the back. Just like a human baby, calves receive so many different vitamins and trace minerals from their mother's milk. So it is very important that these vitamins and trace minerals get into the formula somehow. Mom supplements Toro's formula daily. (And yes that is the large batter bowl from Pampered Chef.... Doesn't everyone mix their calf formula in a Pampered Chef batter bowl?)
So back to Toro.... I go outside bottle in hand and call for the sweet little baby. No answer, no little clicking of his hooves on the sidewalk. I wait a few more seconds then grab a flashlight. I begin to panic and search the yard, he is no where to be found. Its really dark now.

Call again, from the distance a hear something. Darn he got out of the yard and into the front field. I think it happened when Mike came for JoJo the horse. Toro finally spots the flashlight and comes running to the gate. Poor guy he was starving and in a place he did not know.

So as I am letting him in the gate to the yard... Ginger escapes AGAIN! Really??? The dog really knows how to test me. So I feed the poor starving, wet and cold baby calf and wait for the darn dog to come back to the gate.

Fast forward to 10:30 pm, as I am laying in bed I start to here the pinging of the rain on the tin roof of the shop.... Great.

Next time my Parents are gone my Brother gets to stay here!!!

Friday, February 4, 2011

Funny Farm Part 1

Because this weekend seemed to go on forever... I have broke the story up into parts.

This last weekend my parents drove from Northern, California to Deer Lodge, Montana to pick up their new dog "Hank." So while they were away I stayed overnight at the ranch so the animals' schedules did not change. I must say that this was quite an experience for me. Now I grew up with cattle and dogs but Mom and Dad did not get the chickens and the horse until after we left the ranch. Its funny that the chickens are the ones that kind of freak me out. Dad has 30 egg laying hens and one large rooster in a coop that we call the palace. They have a yard and a side yard (because one yard isn't enough for all his girls).

However the chickens were the least of my worries. The first night was fine, all went as planned. I was a little cold and their bed is a little hard but okay I made it. 7:30 am and I hear my friend Toro waking up. Toro is my Mom's bottle calf that lives in the yard. He gets a bottle morning and night. But when I go outside to feed Toro I notice something out of the corner of my eye... Jojo.

The gate is wide open to the front pasture and in the yard is the horse (Jojo) and three yearling heifers. Jojo was in no mood to get caught and continued to browse the very tall green grass behind the chicken coop. 30 minutes later and phone call to the husband, who was at the pond hunting ducks, the critters are back in their field. Here they are enjoying their hay after a morning in the front yard! The little black calf in the left corner is Charlie. Charlie was a bottle calf this fall and has graduated to the front field.

Then Ginger escapes. Ginger is my Mom's yellow lab that does not listen to anyone. She jumps the fence and bugs the guys at the pond. Finally some coaxing and a couple dog treats she's back in the yard and in the kennel. Ginger is the red one in the corner. Lacey is the old white dog.

Okay this is good its 9:00 am. Wait I haven't had my coffee yet! Then our friend Mike shows up to borrow Jojo for the weekend. I tell him good luck, I haven't been able to get close to her in two days. Somehow he gets her cornered and caught. So one less critter to worry about and I go home to try and get something done....