Chicks and Calves

Today is going to be a busy one. Soon the girls and I will drive over and pick up fifty more chicks from Jake’s brooder house.  These are the last of the ones for the family freezers.  The Chicken  Caravan is in a new field ready and waiting. piglets feeding

And hopefully a couple of calves will be delivered to the Big barn Across The Way tonight. The Fencer (you will remember him from last summer) is going to buy a few for him and one for me and I will  feed them Lady Astor’s milk for six weeks in exchange for some more fencing.

sheila my big fat pig(Sheila is so much better after her massive pedicure).big pig(She is such a big pig).

Lady A is giving almost four gallons a day.  So we should be able to feed three calves.

Tane. tane


(Tane and Tima are living in the field with Sheila and not terribly impressed.)

So we will be taking bottles of milk across the creek to the calves. I am keeping them over there as they will have come from a Sale Barn.  They will be like rescue calves. We will have no idea where they came from  or why they are being sold. Or what bacterias they are carrying.  So there is always the risk that we will have to fight to keep them alive and get them to thrive. But thats’ ok –  I am up for that kind of fight.  I just have to make sure to keep them away from my healthy pigs and cows until I know they are clean.

Calves are expensive this year.  So we will see if they are affordable.

Amanda’s chicken eggs began to hatch last night. No matter who you are or where you come from or even how old you are – watching chicks hatch is an extraordinary experience. dog

SO – To Work!

I hope you have a lovely day,

Your friend on the farm


32 Comments on “Chicks and Calves

  1. Love the picture of the piglets getting a milkshake — as I looked at the tails curled I chuckled at the one whose tail is curled the opposite from the rest (wonder it he/she is a “lefty”).

  2. I too was smiling about the ‘lefty’ tail! Life is looking good on the farm right now, may it long continue!

  3. I’ve been off for two weeks catching up with friends in FL! It is super hot down there! All looks wonderful on the farmy! Just wondering about Boo. Is he mainly a one woman dog? Just asking because my Blue Healer, Dolly, is pretty much that. And I’ve read that’s the way they are. And wondering about Ton, too. xo

      • Isn’t that amazing! Same with my Dolly girl! They are a special breed, indeed! And of course our Ton-Ton is right at the top of being the very smartest of breeds! xo

  4. Awe, two days of lovely Boo pictures….. I think I am a little fond of that silly boy.

    Happy Monday – it was great to see the farmily through Amanda’s eyes (yea, I’m a day behind right now too…. busy weekend!) Finally reached 100 yesterday in the lone star state…. Not sure why we think it is so momentous to reach 100 here, anything above 90 is too hot for me! But July 26 is exceptionally late for us.

    Stay cool and stay dry today!

  5. Are they newborn calves or a couple months old? Are they traveling very far to get to your barn? If they are less than a week old I would recommend giving them only electrolytes for the first day, 4-5 small feedings one during the night would be good too. Keep doing the electrolytes 4 or 5 times a day the first couple of days while gradually substituting a small portion of milk for a feeding of electrolytes. If they develop the runs cut the milk out. They dehydrate quickly at that age and the stress can throw them into scours which milk will only aggravate. Electrolytes are better than plain water. We use to get young calves from Wisconsin to raise to about 500 lbs. This worked very well for us. The first week is the most labor intensive with the babies but if you get them through that they usually do well unless they have picked up some virus at the sale barn. Good luck looking forward to baby calf pictures.

    • Forgot to add that water or electrolytes for older calves the first day and gradually introduce milk usually helps the transition The stress of the travel and the sale barn could upset their digestive tracks too. Plus you have no idea how they were being fed. Being with their mommas or milk replacer or if a month or more old they could be weaned. While they will happily drink fresh milk, their tummies may rebel at first.

      • Thank you jeanne and yes I am the master of little bits often for baby animals and have a jar of electrolyte at the ready. They have a four hour drive just to get back here so hydration is paramount. They will get water along the way too. We have not bought them yet so i have no idea of ages.. Lets hope they are healthy… c

        • Are they coming out of Wisconsin or maybe Greenville, IL? The Greenville sale barn was a good one when we were buying Holstein bull calves, they were usually in good shape and I don’t remember bringing in any viruses. The sale barn in Wisconsin was good too, although we did get a nasty roto virus in a batch of calves. The sale barn wouldn’t have known but whoever sent that calf to the sale barn had to have known it was in their herd. We could put an order in and they would fill it and someone would trailer the calves down to us. That way we had more calves at the same size and it made a more attractive group to feeder calf buyers. At Greenville my husband would drive down and buy them himself and bring them back. We switched to WI because of the delivery capability as his truck wasn’t big enough to haul very many calves. At the WI sale barn we found that if we requested calves be over a certain weight they handled the trip down better. At that weight ( I don’t remember what pounds anymore) we were getting calves closer to a week old. A few times we got a huge newborn that met the weight requirement but usually didn’t make it. We talked to them and they were more careful with the ones they bought for us. We had some mighty nice looking calves sometimes, I kept thinking too bad they are not heifers, We even had a few Red & White Holsteins, which were not common then. They were kind of the red-headed stepchild of the Holstein world at that time. Thinking good thoughts that your calves have a good trip.

  6. The piglets look incredibly vigorous and healthy. Their coats are shiny. And Boo looks like, well, he looks like he’s matured. He’s starting to look downright philosophical.

    • I was entranced by the photo of Boo too; he is looking like a wisdom-filled creature. But then most dogs have more wisdom than most people I know. And the wee piggies too, they are just gorgeous! ~ Mame

  7. Good morning Celi. It is going to be a hot one up here this week – predicting 40’C temperatures! Phew! I love that your title is ‘Chicks and Calves’ while your pictures are all pigs and Boo! 😉 Those little pigs sure are photogenic. Hope you manage to stay cool at least for part of your day. Good luck with the calves.

      • I think that makes the reading more interesting. We can let our eyes enjoy what the pictures say and then whimsy along with your conversation. I picture it as sitting at your kitchen table and watching the antics unfold in your barnyard as we talk!

  8. Hatching is incredible, no matter how many times you’ve seen it happen!

    I recommend foot-baths and changes of clothes when working the new calves. You probably already know that, but bacteria and parasites and all other manner of icky things can be easily transported on the bottoms of our feet. We keep shallow tubs of disinfectant outside of our quarantine rooms. Bath going in, bath coming out, and if it’s potentially a nasty bug, we don’t work with anything else after having worked with the potentially infected animals. Good luck! I imagine that good, raw milk is the cure for most baby-calf stress ailments.

    • I will put a boot bath outside the barn, good thinking.. I am deliberately putting them in the barn across the way so they do not have any contact with my other animals – most especially the pigs – lets hope they are healthy though .. c

  9. What a lovely smile from Boo, and Ton looks great as well. I hope the calves do well for you – reading some of the comments it looks as though you’re in for some very hard work! I love the way you run the Farmy on the barter system.

    Have a good day,
    ViV xox

  10. I’m afraid to ask how old TonTon is, but I don’t think he looks grey at all. The gold might be an undercoat.

  11. Never a boring day at the farmy! Alway something new. Glad Sheila is getting around better.

    • If I remember rightly 2.05 for the heifers and 4.50 for the steers.. yesterday anyway.. I only was able to buy this steer because he is so tiny no-one wanted him and he went for the price of a heifer..

  12. Oh you are so right! I love watching eggs hatch .. And holding the egg up to my ear and listening to the cheep cheep from within. Magic stuff ..

  13. Now I’m caught up and had my fix for today. Farm life appears so enchanting to us mere mortals but the work involved would probably break me. I understand now what’s going on with the baby cows. 🙂 I sure hope someone would not sell a sick baby. May they all be well and fit nicely on the Farmy. 🙂

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