Shades of Ireland

Monday, February 20, 2012

Dreary Day..... Lots to Do...

This little girl is one of the last remaining pups. She is pretty bright and has figured out how to get up on the deck and beg at the back door. They have started tagging along when we head over to the barn to work. It adds to my babysitting duties since the goats try to butt them and the milk cows try to kick at them....

It has been a weird day. The wind has steadily been picking up. It started out pretty cool and it seems to be getting colder. The wind is out of the south but it is really sharp and has everything looking for a wind break. It is starting to sprinkle rain and I swear it feels a bit like it might even snow.

Charlie took me into town for our "breakfast debriefing" when he got in from work this morning. Occasionally, he buys me breakfast if he doesn't have to work that night. He can go to bed a little later in the morning. That made me late getting chores started. Seth went to work this morning so Adam and I had all the chores to do.

These are Lola's kids from the previous post. I have left them in the barn because she was hesitant to accept the big buck kid. Now that I am pretty sure she is going to let him nurse, I will probably put them out after this rain storm blows over.

Now that I have several sets of kids, I am getting concerned about the roaming packs of coyotes that are traveling through this farm. On nights that the weather is good, my does will stay out of the barn and eat from the large round bale of hay. To my way of thinking, that is getting pretty risky.

After I got the milking chores done, the bottle babies fed, the weaned calves fed and everything washed, I decided to go and get a few bales of grass hay. My plan is to put hay in the rack at night and lock the girls up in the barn at night. It is a really big space with plenty of room. There is also a smaller stall that I used to keep Holly in during the blizzards last year, It makes a cozy place to put a doe with new kids in.

As soon as we got back with the hay, I discovered another doe in labor. Blaire had already had a nice buck and was working on another. This was coming a little strangely and I had to straighten him out a bit, too. 

I gave her a little time with them before I moved them to the stall. They are very nice, long bodied and very dairy. My kid count now is: 6 boarding, 5 does and 5 bucks.

I am not sure if it just the quality of our hay or the time of the year but the cows and horses are all cleaning out their mineral feeders on a regular basis. The horses have started nibbling on the the bark on the young trees so I put out a solid mineral block for them and also loose mineral in their feeder. They have already rounded off the corners of the block.....

After I milked Holly and Noelle this morning, I let them out into the cow pasture with the rest of the cows. They enjoy visiting with the other girls but not for very long....... those are just "common cows".  When I went out to fill the mineral feeder for the cows, they saw me and began heading my way, hoping that I would let them back out in the barn yard. They have their own shelter, hay bale, mineral feeder and water in there.

My camera is too slow to get a good picture of Noelle as she came trotting to me. She bucked and kicked and tried her best to stomp Elsa. Isn't she looking much better? I can't wait until the grass greens up and she really slicks off and gains weight.

Holly (on the far right) came at a much more leisurely pace. She is too well endowed to trot unless it is a matter of life or death. The rest of the herd thought that it might be a good idea to head my way, too. Just in case I might have a treat for them.

They just had to settle for mineral this time.

Now that most of the outside chores are done, I just can't put it off any longer. House work!!

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