My Jogging Buddy

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Two new calves this day. Brent moved the herd and then went to tag the calf left behind. As he does safely, while the mum was off munching. This gal was not so impressed with getting her ears pierced. ” The calf is running the wrong way,” I hear from Brent on the radio. She crossed to the next paddock and Brent asked for some back-up. I drove down in the truck. She wasn’t running too fast, but steady. She was too far ahead of him, so when I met her with the truck she stopped. Honked my horn to get her to turn around towards the herd. No such luck.

She kept running, running, running. Up the hill to the next paddock. Towards the courtyard she went, I jogging beside her as to not lose her. I used to jog in Discovery Park in Seattle Washington. I worked on my breathing back then which helped for this moment now. So we jogged next to each other. I tried not to panic. Catching a calf in this mode is not easy. They have rodeo events for this situation. Calves are random with their direction. They are fast. They are strong. I without a horse and a lasso, all I could do was jog.

Her tail flicked up, I reached for it, grabbed it then tackled her like a rugby player. I radioed to Brent that I had her. It was all I could do to keep that girl from running some more. She was so incredibly strong and I am not a small woman. She must have been all of two hours old.

We drove her back down to the herd, she found her mum. All is good.

She had quite a motor to run all that way uphill after just being born, Brent called her Motörhead. The photo above is Brent beginning the words, “She’s weeing on me.” I suppose being a rebel by running away and then pissing on the farmer also supports her name.

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Calf Palooza

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Four calves today.  Geez!  I think there are two above in the photo.  Little blobby bits napping in the sun.  With each calf, we need to tag within the first day.  We ( we being Brent ) also must castrate if necessary.  Otherwise, they are too frisky.  I think they have rodeo events about catching calves.  If you get them in the first day, they are too confused to work out what’s going on.  This is a dangerous part of the job.   One calf at a time is great.  Four in one day, I wish for all girls.  Two boys and two girls were born today.  Moms were great and Brent tagged all four without fuss.   He has his technique down and everything.

As this is an “L” year and we are required to name each calf, might you have any good names?  Already named:

  • Loveboat
  • Legion of Boom
  • Lido Shuffle
  • Lawnmower
  • Leprechaun

Also in the progress bucket, that giant wood pile of way back when is being cut into warmy burny logs.

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Lumi is right there supervising.  A big pile of warm.  Though, as I write, my front door is wide open and the sun is shining.  I think I might pour myself a Kir.

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Bottle Calf Meet Herd, Urban Hat Meet Cattleman

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Our bottle calves are ready for the herd.  Poodle, a yearling, sets the hierarchy.

 

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They are mixing at the moment.  And hopefully they shall realize that they are not a retriever, but a cow.  We shall see.
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On the left, urban sun hat. On the right Australian Cattleman hat. Both sun protective. Each with their own ton “steel.”

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Herding bovines where they need to go.  I love a good hat.  And a good bovine walk.  For the first time, I feel like baby bottle calves are one with the herd.  We shall see.

Today In Farmville

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It seems our calves are arriving earlier than expected.  Gremlin the bull was a busy boy.  For him, love was almost always on time and apparently a bit early.

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Gremlin calves are cute, but mostly they frown.  Unlike the cute little lamb that smiles at the Farmy in the USA.

( photo by Celi of http://thekitchensgarden.com )

 

Here is some lucerne growing.  It’s looking great!

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And as we were looking at the lucerne field and the cattle pens, we hear a voice from the villa, “hey!  It looks like you have a new calf!”  ” It looks like it just popped out,” says friendly neighbor.  I took a moment to breath in that someone just yelled across a field to tell us about our new calf that was born on the farm.  I feel like I’m living in a pioneer novel.  How did I get here?  I love it.

Here’s the new calf a milkin’.   He was a big calf.  This is Junkyard.

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And here is a farmer a zappin’ … not by me this time.  Brent had to adjust the fence a bit.  whoops.

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Dude, that’s gotta hurt.

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This is little Jailbait snoozing.  It’s a ‘j’ year. Feel free to add some ‘j’ names.

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Every cow in France must have a unique number and a name.  The name doesn’t have to be unique.  We have two cows named Framboise.  When we started the herd, we brought in  cows that we didn’t name.  You can see where the farmer who named them gave up.  One is named Vache ( that is “cow” in French ).  We have another named Peste ( which is “plague” or “nuisance” ).  She’s actually a sweet cow.  Brent refers to her as “old cow 78.”  She does well on the farm.

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This is Junkyard a few hours old and doing well with mum.

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The mums seem to be arranging playdates.

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This is the view from where the cows are grazing.  We can wave and say, “Hi.”

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Tosca snuck out between rain showers to grab a cuddle.

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Impatient Cow, Moo

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The calves are popping out like calves. Yesterday, the last of the heifers had a successful birth. We started this farm with these baby heifers ( and some cows ). Now, our girls are officially cows. They have all successfully been knocked up as well as successfully given birth to a calf ( is this the little heifer I carried …. sunrise sunset ).

We are expecting more calves to come from the rest of the herd. Even though the older cows have had many births, we still keep a close eye to make sure everything comes out all right. We continue to build our ‘i’ list. Brent came up with my favorite so far. It was inspired by our family’s favorite knock-knock joke. It goes a little something like this:

me: Knock-Knock.

you: Who’s there?

me: Impatient cow.

you: Impatient co… -me: MOO!!!!!!!

Each three-year-old Curtis has mastered the timing of this joke, but it takes a few goes. They always seem to wait for you to finish “impatient cow” before charging in with the “MOO!” It’s almost funnier that way.

“Impatient” is a little black female born to “Leftie.” Leftie has an  L.L. Cool J going on with her horns. One horn goes out and the other follows in the same direction.

 

The colza is in bloom again.  That’s our neighbor’s colza.  The fields of yellow are lovely and prime you for the sunflowers to come.   The Pyrénées are out. The grass is green.

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Friday Night, Cake’s In The Oven, and We’re Trying To Call Grandma

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It’s a girl party tomorrow.  I’m trying to pre-do what I can so we can clean up a bit and set the stage for giggly girldom.  The three tier cake is in the oven and I hope I’m not burning it as I write this.  I’ll get the pizza dough baked ( you can stick darn near anything on a pre-baked crust, see Boboli circa 1986.  Boboli is owned by “group bimbo” which warrants a post all by itself ).  Wait, checking cake … k. done. all good.  Zélie, our resident taster, has confirmed that the chocolate layer cake batter made, as describe by  Fannie Farmer, has met her standards.  She likes to keep a little spot of chocolate on her cheek to age and taste later for further testing and analysis.

We have fourteen calves so far, and they’re running around like idiots at the moment.  The herd is unmoved.  I’m working on comma usage while trying to call Grandma to thank her for the lovely present she and sister sent to Minty.  Each calf with their own unique ‘i’ name, we wait on fourteen more.

Tag, You’re ‘i’T

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It’s what separates the men from the women. Namely me, the women. If I were to run this farm all by myself, there is NO WAY IN HECK I would tag a calf in the field. Why? Oh sure you mortals thinks cows “chew and moo” all day, but in reality, they are animals. They are domesticated animals with feelings for their offspring. All calm, I could get ‘hold of a calf and quickly tag it, but the minute that little calf does a little “meh,” the herd is on it. They swoop in, right at you ready to deal with any trouble. They’re a herd, after all, a village, they look after each other. Should some farmer go tagging a calf in the field, they’ll let you know what they think about that. So, we try to do it safely. To tag a calf at all is an amazing result of regulation. I’m sure in the old days, tagging calves and the danger within was a non-issue. But, in these days and times, it’s what you have to do to make great meat. So the farmers, mainly men, have their strategy. Since Brent moves the girls each day, he took an opportunity to close off the fence when the girls went through ( and the calf did not ) to drive the tractor in and tag the calf. It turns out, the roar of the tractor muted any “meh” a calf would make, but this girl didn’t really make a “meh.” Brent tagged the calf then radioed in that he had done so. Good move. If he had said, “I’m going to tag the calf,” I’d be completely worried and vulnerable as I have my toddler running around and dealing with husbands tagging livestock, isn’t easily accesible. But he did it. “Infinity and Beyoncé” has her ears pierced. She’s happy and milking Luna, her mum. This is the type of task on a farm that separates the girls from the men. I’m so impressed this went well without any stress to the animals. She’s a great, chubby calf that may be around awhile breeding lovely, grassfed beef.

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Our pasture must be fenced. We had some help to get the Yukon paddock ready as quick as possible for the herd to munch and crunch. It’s wet, you see, so we need to push in as many posts as possible before the dry, hot sun makes this feat impossible.

Okay, so it’s an ‘i’ year. We have a HUGE list of ‘i’ names. But if you come up with something grasspunk-worthy, we may have to use that name (with credit of course ). ‘i’ is not easy, but this limitation leads you to amazing paths. Trust us, we’ve done a few sessions.