It has been a while since I have posted and I apologize. I have a lot to catch you up on…let’s get started.
Calving time is my favorite time of year (as many of you know). This year has been better than 2011. Last year, we had many unexplained calf deaths which really bother any farmer or rancher. This year, we have lost two calves, but only one is unexplained. It is still bothersome, but much more normal than 2011.
Unfortunately, the good year for calves has turned out to be rotten for cows. We lost one cow to drowning–in our stock pond. A couple days ago, the cows walked through the fence into the alfalfa field. When all was said and done–two more were dead (eating fresh alfalfa under certain conditions causes “bloat” or excess gas). Losing a single cow in a year is tough, but to lose two in a single day (and three during calving season) is really disappointing.
The two recent dead cows both had calves. We really need to separate their calves from the rest of the herd for extra TLC. In near-100 degree weather, we don’t dare round up the cow herd and risk the chance of losing more animals to heat stress. The unfortunate choice is to take our chances and wait for cooler weather (hopefully tomorrow?!?) to bring the cows up to headquarters and sort them until we have the two orphans separated. Both are old enough to survive on their own–so we are crossing our fingers that they are in good enough condition to save.
Did I mention it is dry? It is so dry that my kids talk about the “day it rained” earlier this spring….
On to baseball.
As a result of poor family planning (just kidding), we get to sit at the ball field for six hours each night. Our youngest son plays in the first game each evening (T-ball 1) and our oldest son plays in the fourth/last game of each evening (Sr. PeeWees). Our middle son plays in game 3. My kids now believe that nachos and popcorn are a food group despite my attempts to pack healthy foods in our cooler. My car is apparently a permanent storage site for lawn chairs, blankets, ball gloves, sunscreen, bug spray, baseballs in assorted conditions, a volleyball (not sure how that got there…), bandaids, empty Gatorade bottles, and broken crayons (don’t ask).
In a previous post about “The Hunt for Baby Kittens” I mentioned providing an update when my kids found the well-hidden litter of kittens. I am happy to announce that the mystery has been solved. My astute, detective children discovered a litter of four cute furballs hidden less than six inches from the well-worn path between the house and chicken coop (traveled four times each day by the children….).
It has been a crazy spring on the farm in the weather front. Our fruit trees were flowering in March. To put this in perspective, our recommendation for planting after a frost-free date is mid-May. For the third year in a row, we will not get any apples (*sigh*). Our plums, chokecherries, strawberries, Juneberries, and many others also appear to be without fruit. I may have to resort to buying jelly….
I hope spring is going well for all of you. Any strange weather or strange occurrences happening in your neck of the woods?