Friday, September 30, 2011

Good Days & Bad Days....

As is the case with life, on the farm, there are good days, and there are bad days.
I had a couple absolutely awesome days last week, where I was able to go home & help my parents bring in their nearly 200 bu/acre corn crop!

It was a beautiful day, the crop was good, and I got to help out, giving my mom a few hours to get caught up on yardwork, housework, and a nice lunch!
Corn going into my wagon to go back to the bin

You couldn't have paid me to climb up the stairs on the bin to take these pictures when I was kid....guess I outgrew my fear of heights.  It's too fuzzy to make out the combine in the treeline.  When I was a kid, that was the "Timber" cattle pasture!

There was a beautiful weekend - we accomplished a lot.  I felt particularly proud of cleaning out the bottom of the Harvestore.  My back survived suprisingly well, as I scooped out the last 8" of "yuck" from the bottom of the bin, so that it is ready to receive new corn this fall, and the cows won't have to eat any of the yucky bottom.  (Imagine this as the crumbs at the bottom of the cereal box, but on a much bigger level!).  Yankee Candle made money off me this weekend, as I was burning candles non-stop to get rid of the rotten corn smell-I knew I shouldn't have laid down in the living room to rest before taking a shower!

And, then there are bad days.

Monday was another of those bad days, or at least bad mornings.  I checked cows Sunday night before bed, pronouncing to Brent upon my return to the house that 8021 would probably calve by morning.  I was right.  Unfortunately, when the cows were checked in the morning, Brent found 1 dead heifer calf that looked to have been born dead in an odd position, and 8021 calving.  8021 was trying to push, but couldn't get the calf out because it's head was wrapped backwards.  This meant that the shoulders & the head were trying to come out at the same time, and didn't fit.  Nearly an hour of pushing & pulling & Brent up to his armpits in cow, later, we delivered a dead bull calf.  So, for the morning we were 0 for 2.  We were especially disappointed with the dead heifer calf, because it was Bambi's.  That along with the non-stop rain, just made Monday stink!

Thankfully, Bambi is doing well, and 8021 seems to be coming along with a little bit of TLC, so at least we saved the cows!
More new matresses & stalls are going in the barn today!  Hopefully, we can find them all as last nights wind storm was blowing them all over!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Friday, September 9, 2011

Meet the New Girls on the Farm

Meet Bambi, Bev & Pat.

They are the newest additions to our farm.  With the barn "Almost Done", we need to start acquiring cows that can fill it.  The new barn will have about 94 stalls for cows.  We are currently milking 67, with several cows to calve (and thus, move to the new barn) in the coming months, but not enough to fill all those stalls.  So, we are on the prowl for good quality animals to add to our herd.  Ones that will produce milk for a long time, and be problem-free cows (and help us pay for that new barn!). Bambi, Bev & Pat are these type of animals.  I actually went and looked at the heifers a couple weeks ago, but we've been so busy - we haven't had time to officially make the decision & go get them until last weekend.  So, with the hay chopped & packed in the bunker, and rain planned, we headed south an hour to Granville & met with Kevin & Gene Kunkel.  When Brent was showing, he used to stall his animals with the Kunkel herd, and helped get their cows ready, so he has great respect for the family and the cows.  (You have a lot of respect for an animal when you have to clean up behind it!)  Brent agonized a little too long over part of the decision, as we came home just as the rain really started going.  We got the girls unloaded and in their new pen with no problems, and they seem to be adjusting well.
Bambi is a complete & utter pet.  It's actually kind of hard to get her to move - unless you have a feed bucket in your hand!  Bev is just a little skittish.  (She actually gave Brent a good kick to the leg as she left her home & went on the trailer).  Bev & Bambi are pregnant, and due in late September.  Getting them on our farm now will give them time to adjust & adapt to their new home before they are ready to calve.  Pat isn't due until March, but Brent was a big fan of her mother, Polly, so she came to the farm as well.

Stay tuned for the latest from Bambi & Bev!