Friday, July 8, 2011

Rule #2: Always leave the fencer on!

Hubby and I had a simultaneous exhaustion-inspired brain fart related to the amount of fence that was down behind the pig pen and whether or not the cows would go through it Wednesday night... 

These would be my neighbour's fields...
They not only went to the back of this field, but over
to the right the same distance,
then back even further,
then into the wooded trails! 

They did.

After an hour & a half of chasing the cattle up & down the neighbours field (had them at our gate 3 times and they refused to go in!) I had to call hubby home from work, and we both proceeded to chase them for another hour. I think hubby reminds the cows of their former owner, so they responded as soon as he showed up, and started coming back home after I'd lost them in the woods. Then one of the calves took off on his own, so hubby had to go chasing after him... It was quite the morning!!

Things would have been MUCH easier if my former leaser hadn't taken off with my bridle, I could have just saddled-up Meg and gone off on a cattle round-up! Of course I'm not quite sure what I would have done with the kids... (as it was they sat patiently in the car yelling "GO HOME COWS!"). But Meg would have trampled a minimum amount of the crops & allowed me to get in front and beside the cattle to get them going in the right direction.

As it was, the dogs "helped" but they aren't trained to herd, so mostly the just got the cows going forward, frequently in the wrong direction.

Heading off to get the cows.
The dogs thought this was
GREAT fun!
This little Adventure lead to an entire afternoon of fence-repair, fixing the hole and we strung the whole back of the big paddock as well. Now it's ready to be divided so we can rotate all the animals and hopefully no one will ever get out again.

The cows founds some LOVELY trails behind our neighbour's property; but I think I'll wait to apologize for all the crops they trampled before asking to ride the pony back there!

Back home where they should be.
The farmer warned us they'd probably
go off looking for the herd, and they
definitely did!

We've been trying to come up with some names for the momma cows, "Hilda" (because they headed for the hills...) seemed like a good choice after 2 hours of cow chasing before my morning coffee...

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Happy Ducks

We've got a whole 'naturalized' pond for the duckies when they get older, but for now they needed something in between the dog dish they had been swimming in (one at a time!) and the big pond. 

Found a 1" or so deep plastic water trough in the barn (totally useless for large animals, they'll just stick their feet in it and muck up the water!). So we dug a big hole in the chicken run and stuck'er in. There are some rocks in there just in case the duckies swim for too long & have a hard time getting out. 

They're pretty pleased with their new pad!

Wednesday, July 6, 2011


These two a little Saanens (I believe the littler guy is a X), very cute little buggers indeed!
For whatever reason little goat #1 only had one horn removed by his first owner, so the people we got him from banded the other & now we're just waiting for it to come off. 

  #2 Still has his horns, and I think we've decided we're going to leave them on. They are 3 months old and they have been whethered.

They've been great friends for Billy, but haven't exactly helped the whole "Billy needs to stay in the barn-yard" issue, since they are usually the first to bust out with him bleeting along behind :). They are both very sweet, and even though they eat my blue-berry bushes, they've got a home here for life!

Still trying to come up with names for them...

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Something showed up in my field

After a few days of trying to figure out how they were going to get here, the farmer managed to drop them off in the only 40 minute window which I was away from the house (at the feed store)! Hey, does that mean we don't have to pay for them... ?

Yes, the little guys are cute now, give them a few months... they will be delicious.

Had to have another little talk with the 3 year old. "Yes hun, these are the cows, but we're going to eat the babies, okay?" took a few minutes of "We no can eat babies!! ha ha ha!" (he is 3!) before the message got through. I think we're pretty lucky our kids are moving here so young, that they get it. After he understood what I was saying we came to "We eat turkeys... and ... BABY COWS!"

And I know it's hard for some people to raise & eat their own animals, and I got a rather soft introduction living next too, but not directly involved with, these guys for 3 years. At the end of the day, I'm just happy to know my meat had a good life. It frolicked in the pasture, enjoyed the grass, and came to the end of it's life in a respectful way.

If you're going to eat meat, and you can't face your dinner, and say 'I'm sorry, but you're just to delicious to pass up'; What are you doing?

F@&^ lost the other one!!

On the right, Yesterday morning around 9am
(No, it wasn't the dog)
My other tiny Cochin when M.I.A. yesterday. She was there for morning turnout & gone by 3pm.

It was not a normal day, because we were inside instead of out, and I think we can blame some sort of aerial predator since I can't find any hint of her. The red-wing black birds used to do an amazing job of keeping them away from the chicken coop, but their babies are gone so they don't care any more.

I'm really upset I didn't get to see my pretty little chicky grow up. Such is life...

Monday, July 4, 2011

Even my 3 year old can figure this out.

This is the "diorama" that my 3 year old son created. After watching mom nurse Billy back to health he decided he wanted a pet to take care of too. This is his dinosaur, being kept with food (grass), water (in the bowl), in a safe sheltered home (the basket) and the blue mega-block is his bottle. 

That means my 3 year old son is better equipped, more knowledgeable, and more compassionate for a stuffed animal then some people are for real. And you can't say it's because he was raised on a farm, we've been here for 3 weeks. 

Check out FuglyBlog for news about equine rights & stories both good and bad. 
(No not everyone agrees with her theories all the time, but you've got to admire her spirit)

My son also understands we are compassionate and caring, not only to the animals that are our pets, but the ones we are going to eat, like the turkey. Although we've had animals all his life, kids don't need to be raised with pets to understand the value of life and the inherent rights of all living creatures. This is something you teach your children, through what you do and say. If you're not in a position to keep an animal, for whatever reason, you take your children to a zoo, park or animal shelter. Even if you don't live in a rural area, every city has an educational farm you can visit. 

And don't ever be embarrassed to ask simple questions. You can't be held responsible for things you were never taught.

Let's make sure the next generation understands that milk comes from cows, not factories, bacon comes from pigs, who are actually very intelligent, and that cats should be cuddled, not kicked.