Mornings are my favorite time of day. Either the husband is off driving rig somewhere, delivering groceries and good, and P the wild is asleep, or they are both still resting and I can have a bit of quiet me time. This means sitting at the computer, coffee at my side, just resting for a few minutes, then tackling the multitude of chores that abound and delight me every day. The barn awash in morning glow from the sun, dew glistening like tiny diamonds bestowed upon the grass by some wealthy suitor, horses nickering for attention and feed (feed being their first request), chickens and turkeys and rabbits snuffling and clucking, and the lambs bellowing like old bulls fill my heart to the brim with joy at the new found day. This morning I took Sunny up to the paddock like so many mornings before, and there were the 2 cows that remain after decades of dedicated dairy farming. 8 years each they grazed peacefully, I stopped Sunny, just to look and feel the love for a life passed by, another small farm fallen to the burden of high taxes, low milk prices etc. Watching my lady Moon, and then turning to old Bama, I realized something just wasn't quite what it should be.
The joy of a new baby, and look at the rib on that old cow!
Small, perky ears, o that is a big fawn. Wait a minute, since when do fawns come in black and white...Holy heck that is a calf! We thought Moon, if pregnant, should have calved back in late March or early April. I kept swearing my brain remembered a later breeding to the shorthorn bull we used to have. Promise. And sure enough I am not losing what few marbles were left in my tired mind. There bumbling behind the old girl was a bit of a heifer, at least a few days old, all dry and content, happy to trail behind her big black hided momma. I called mom and was literally incoherent with my joy. I've been missing cattle, and calves, to the point of driving my poor husband mad with my pleading for a bred heifer this fall. Now I need beg no more. We have a calf to raise to fill the freezer, and, once mom returns from camp so there is someone to watch the sprite that is my daughter, I have a cow to milk. And a favored much beloved cow at that. The husband offered to, within reason, get me whatever bull I wanted to breed her with, in hopes of continuing my line of registered cattle. I believe I shall take him up on that offer. Anyone know where I can find some Royland Jordan semen for a reasonable price?
Also these little beauties finally arrived. One little boy already thinks he rules the roost, and struts like a fool every time I open the brooder to check on them.
I have reached the conclusion that we no longer live in upstate NY, but rather in perhaps Washington where it rains so often. This has frankly gotten ridiculous. The plans to put in new pastures, new this new that, repair reclaim etc are on hold. The pond which is generally drying up this time of year is overflowing. Flood watches are blasting on the tv. It was a couple years ago today that the massive flooding occurred in the town I was living in with my new husband at the time. I am praying we don't see more today. I had hoped for a nice afternoon, as it is my dear nephew's birthday party today, but well as it is pouring out that obviously isn't going to happen. Birds are moved around, I cleaned and tidied the upper coop that I used as a grow out for the Cornish we raised, and moved my BLR Wyandotte and her 9 babies up there. In another week or two I am going to pull them off of her, and move them in with the cochins, turkeys and the 5 other mixes that are in the big coop at the moment. There was a snafu with my bb turkeys, and I am still waiting for them. It may work out well, they will be right at the 21 week mark at butcher time, and well I was ready but I wasn't. We are going to move Mr. Blue and his two ladies, Smurff and Silver, up to the grow out to have a little coop of their own. I will re build the large outside run, make it nice and comfy for them, and hopefully we can start mixing and breeding our own Cochins for next year. If anyone has use for this rain, please, come and get it!
Ah Father's Day Weekend, when fathers young and old's thoughts turn to things such as Gas Up's, tractor pulls, bbq's and the hammock. Peg and I picked our guy up a cute card, and he gets to pick his activities for the weekend. I believe tomorrow we are going to the tractor show/pull at SunnyCrest in the morning, followed by an afternoon and a bbq lunch at the Gas-Up in Gallopville. It will be a great time for us all, as P loves motors and watching tractors run. Sunday morning I don't know if we have plans yet or not, but the afternoon will be spent at his cousin and her new husband's I Do reception. Another day of bbq, family, including a few folks who haven't been to visit in ages, and fun time for he, myself, and the wild one. I do believe this afternoon he and I will be taking a jaunt to go see if we can't find me something a little nicer than dirt and grass stained blue jeans and t's. May try and coax him into stopping for some ice cream if time allows. Have a lovely weekend everyone!
My BLR Wyandott with her share of the mixes, all 9 :)
Things have been wild here lately. Hatched out 2 batches of barnyard mix chicks under 2 broodies. Had 3 other nests go rotten, the one hen left hers, the other two are being totally stubborn beyond belief so I am frantically searching for some hatching eggs to stick under them. I am so frustrated, the 3 hens were swapping nests around and around. Basically they bombed their own efforts. The 15 chicks I did get are amazing colored. I did get one pure BLR Wyandott. Cute little cuss.
The cochin chicks, with a few abandoned mixes and the turkeys
My Cochin chicks and turkey poults I got for my birthday are thriving. The one bronze tom is a little stinker, loving to fly up out of the brooder and have me chase him around. Once I catch him he just snuggles right in like a baby and adores being held. I am so pleased with the colors on the Cochin chicks. I have to get myself the poultry SOP book so I can educate myself on selecting the ones to breed, the ones to "cull". I won't actually cull them, as far as sell or eat, but the non-breed quality will go to making us some cool mix chicks, as I love the stunning colors the barnyard crosses come in!
Upper photo: one of a pair of Holland White turkeys
Lower photo: the bronze tom
Next Thursday I am going to Clifton Springs NY, to a poultry breeding place to pick up our BB turkeys. I have no idea what color I will end up with. I told them I needed birds, and if they were pink and polka dotted I didn't care. With the husband's help I am going to set up the old upper coop that I finished our Cornish off in with a heat light to brood them and then we will set up the outer yard so that they can learn to go in and out. After that the 15 will split into two groups, by size at first, then by gender at finish time.
Some of the gardens when it wasn't pouring :)
The garden is growing by leaps and bounds...as are the weeds. It has been so very very wet these last weeks that weeding is a problem. The peas and beans look more weed than crop at the moment. Our onions are doing fantastic at the moment though. Still have more tomatoes, onions, carrots, beets, beans radishes and the like to plant tough. Perhaps a fall crop of peas as we all love them.
Really I think you ought to move that over a row
Princess of all she surveys, Peg has become quite the little supervisor. She is walking and slowly learning to talk. She certainly loves her time outside and in the barns.
Our young birds moved up into a big coop, actually the biggest coop of them all. They are silly little things, racing here and there being crazy. We have a couple of cockerels in the mix, most of which are going to go to the swaps and hopefully go to new homes. There simply isn't a need for so many roosters, and we want to use Mr Blue the cochin, and Red my Wyandott as our breeding roos.
To all the mommas of the world, and the daddies who have to be mother as well, may the Lord bless you on your day! My husband treated me to a tasty milk shake, that as a result of my pneumonia I couldn't finish, and a trip to the green house at Runnings to get the garden plants I have been lusting for. He tried to convince me to get a pair of dressy jeans and a top but well I was too tickled by the broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, pepper, cucumber etc plants to really want anything else. I told him maybe later in the month for my birthday. I mean what better mothers day present for a girl like me could you hope to find? He and my sister must have had their heads together, as she got me an ubber cute pair of blue gardening gloves so I can keep my hands from being all torn up weeding etc. Thanks guys, I love you!
Sorry Mom, but this is the only pic of you I have...
We had my momma get a flat of her choice of flowery plants. She chose some cute snap dragons, petunias, pansies, and a few others that I have no idea what they are. So to the mom who was generous enough to give each of her kids life, love, and a shit ton of fantastic cows, Happy Mothers Day. I love you.