Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Another Two Weeks

And still no calf.
She's not as swollen as she had been, but still more swollen than normal.  She seems quite content to hang out with Mildred and the goats.
Even when Max decides to climb on top of her. He's quite the little trouble maker.
Just trying to entertain himself, since he now lives outside full time.  Soon he will have his own entertainment committee.
Since these two little ones were born yesterday.  Sheila popped them out all on her own.  She did well with the girl right away.  The boy was very shaky on his feet, and even with us holding him up to nurse she was very impatient.  We brought him in yesterday afternoon, since he kept collapsing in odd spots and wasn't able to move quickly should a cow decide it wanted to step there.

After a couple of bottles of kid milk replacer and a bit of extra warmth he seemed to be getting more stable.  He went back out to nurse last night and got a good latch, then slept in the house.  After one last bottle this morning, he went back out to his mother.  Apparently through the night Sheila remembered that she'd had two kids, not just one, and was anxious to have him back.  He was much more stable, latching well, and the weather is gorgeous (+11°F!), so we left him outside all day.

At every check in he's been doing well, sticking close to his sister, nursing well, and even getting a little playful. We'll be keeping a close eye on him, but we're pretty sure he's out of the woods.

Sheila is doing well, and Mama seems to be quite a doting grandmother. 
Monsoon is doing well, growing well.  He's our full time night milker, on account of him not leaving us any milk through the day.  He sleeps inside with the goats at night, while Mildred and Nelly spend the nights outside.  Mildred is giving us 4-5L/day from just the morning milkings, and we leave a bit for him for breakfast.  It works well for us. 
The dogs and chickens get very little milk now, but still plenty of whey.  The milk we're bringing in is plenty to drink, cook with, make butter, and I'm still making cheese at least once a week.  I've started buying yogourt again.  I still make a small batch about once a week, but it's not nearly enough for Husband and the boys to take to school all week.

Our first four chicks moved out to the brooder box in the workshop this afternoon.  They're feathering in nicely.  The box in the basement needs to be ready for the next batch of eggs, which could start hatching any minute now- today is day 21.  I'm a little nervous with this batch though, as we had a power outage a couple of weeks ago.  Still, I'm hoping we'll have new chicks soon.
A shot from the road when we were out the other day.  The huge snow banks are melting away, fences are starting to show up once again, and even a few bare spots here and there.  Spring is coming.  We should be snow free within the next 2-3 weeks.

Which brings up a lot of things to think about.  First- the garden.  All of my garden plans I made in the winter are being thrown to the wayside.  The past couple of years of early springs had me dreaming and making plans that aren't going to be accommodated in this short growing season.  While our frost free date isn't until the first week of June, I tend to push the season a bit and actually have most of the garden planted earlier than that.  This year I'll be ready to have the peas in early, since we'll still have snow into May, and then need to do soil ammendments, greenhouse clean ups, and tilling.  June is looking like it will be a very busy month.

Starting the garden in June also doesn't give me much hope for a lot of the more tender crops, or the longer season crops this year.  I planted corn our first summer here, and it never made it over two feet high, lol.  I expect this summer to bare similar results.  So, I'm minimizing a lot of my previous plans- maybe a plant or two of squash and melon, no corn, fewer broccoli, cabbage, etc.  I'm undecided about the beans so far.  The first two summers (late springs/early fall frosts), I barely got three or four pickings off the bean plants.  So I could plant half the garden in beans to make the most of each of those pickings, or I could plant just a row or two to eat fresh for this summer and not worry about freezing so many.  I definitely won't be planting the dry beans.

On the plus side, I expect it to be a bumper crop year for berries, and low concern for forest fires.  All of that snow should keep everything moist.

On the negative, I'm losing nearly a month of prime firewood and construction season.  That greenhouse I was planning in the backfield- not going to happen this year.  Ah well, plans are meant to change.

For now, we'll keep puttering away at tidying buildings, getting ready for spring.


  1. That's Nellie in the first pictute? I am stressed because I got three baby chicks. Your farm would be rough for me.

    1. Yes, that's my Nelly. Congrats on the new chicks!

  2. Love your pictures! Last fall one of my cows (Bella) was swollen for three weeks I checked on her every day at least three a day (first calf) she seemed to not be bothered I was about ready to call the vet, then on one of the trips to check on her there was her calf no problems at all ....

    1. This is Nelly's first calf too. She's been taunting us a little more than three weeks now. It's always nice when they just pop them out on their own, like they've been waiting for us to turn our backs!