The Woods

OK. It has been a rough 36 hours.  Or  how many hours? Since Saturday morning anyway. It feels like a week. We are not out of the woods yet but I do see the light a little. calves

The calf scours have not got the better of us yet. I have three calves looking quite good- still not robust but on the way. Another of the big girls is up and about but still needs a lot of patience to get feeding. But all four are standing to drink. And jump up when i come into the barn. Little is still lethargic  – he is good in the morning – not so good in the afternoon, but he is cleaning up slowly and is peeing.  He sleeps too much but often is in a different part of his pen each time I visit now which is good. I make him stand up to drink but it does not last long.  It just takes so long to get him fed but I have all the patience in the world for little animals. He was also observed chewing his cud though how he got any cud to chew is anyones guess.  I give them all lots of strokes and massages to get their bodies working.  I can’t tell you how many disposable gloves I have gone through. And a different set of gumboots for each pen. Not good for the environment at all!  But the best I can do.

But we need a few more days yet for any kind of prognosis.

They get milk and electrolytes in a four hour rotation, milk at 6, electrolytes at 10, milk at 2 and etc. The milk is still at a third strength. But three times a day. cat

And in all this we have lost Godot.  Our beautiful white peacock died of shock after being attacked probably by Mr Flowers.  (I know it was not a dog as this happened during milking and the dogs were in my sight and he looked untouched). Mr Flowers has been hounding this young peacock since I let them all out. Usually Godot hides in the top of the barn but he must have been caught in the open.  I found him with his head hidden under a tree root. (A classic with birds who have been harrassed.) He was alive but let me pick him up which was a very bad sign. I laid him up in the loft close to Mrs Flowers who is his buddy but he was dead in the morning. pig

Miserable.chicken tractor

A short life is not a bad life. I say this all the time.  But I felt devastated.

Especially after battling for the lives of these calves  refusing to give up when when the calf stops peddling and then this magnificent bird  dies without a murmur.

But life goes on. An age old saying but a true one. We must keep moving along. So we do.

Tomoyo is getting stronger and more confident every day. She looks after the meat chickens amongst a number of other things and is developing some wonderful skills in the garden.

Do you see that Geraldine is developing her crown? pigs


I was pruning yesterday. Pigs love mulberries and they actually have a high protein level too.  So I throw the branches in with them any chance I get. The piglets grabbed the little branches and ran about with them, in high spirits!

As I was driving back from the barn yesterday afternoon we passed a large fertiliser truck  on the side of the road. The man was working on his hitch. I slowed down to go around him and lowered my window to wave and say Hullo.  He matched my Hullo with a nod of his head as we do out here and waved his arm to tell us to pass. I saw that he had no hand and the other arm had a little hand up by his shoulder. He smiled at me with his farmers smile and waved us on with a grin.

I am small compared to his heroism. His beauty and determination both captured me and chastised me.  I lose a little sleep and I whine. What am I complaining about.


I hope you have a lovely day.

Your friend on the farm,



70 Comments on “The Woods

  1. It always seems as though when your whole attention is focused on a big problem with one group of animals that something hits you hard from somewhere else. So sorry for the loss of Godot.

    • I just walked in from feeding Little and for the first time since Friday he stood up when he saw me and trotted over to the door.. then drunk his drink without me having to hold his head.. I am well heartened.. not Sure yet, but certainly he is feeling better. I hope you have a good day too! ..c

  2. So sorry you lost Godot. I am glad he had such a wonderful owner as you while he lived. And that you shared him with us! 🙂 I love the last photo the most today. It is good to see a happy cow. Sending you good thoughts for your current farmy struggles.

  3. Oh, Miss C…so sorry. (I’m having trouble not feeling bad towards Mr Flowers). I hope the calves continue their recovery. Geraldine and her tiny crown, wonderful photo.

    • I adore Geraldines little crown – it is so breathless – right off I go. Off in my nightie around to the other barn and see how they have fared- it was almost chilly last night – I doled out coats to the sicker ones.. c

    • I agree with you kathytgoodwin… may be ‘nature’ but I reckon Mr Flowers is a bully

  4. Sad about Godot. I to this day can’t see a mulberry tree without thinking back to my young childhood and all those silkworms we used to have. 🙂 Laura

  5. So sorry to hear about Godot Miss C. A short life is still a good life but we still feel cheated. Thank you for giving him a good life and sharing him with us.

  6. Tears, tears and more tears..beautiful Godot is no longer there…it hurts my heart. You must be a very strong lady somewhere underneath. Your love of animals shines like a beacon in the dark..Wonder Woman Will Win the day….was it because Godot and Mr Flowers are both male birds? Rivalry, jealousy, Leader…. I notice this with our 5 dogs..Missy is always being picked on and withdraws under a bush until I call her.I keep a special eye open for her
    I am so very sorry that you have had all these problems…I can only guess that God must have something really special for you and this is the testing time, otherwise why?
    love to you all

  7. Lovely Godot was always an angel and not quite of this world. The way he went is so sad, but animals do what they must. Perhaps he will become a Farmy guardian… I’m so sorry you have yet another blow when you’re so busy, so stressed, so worried and so tired. But I’m so very happy that your babies are turning the corner.

  8. You have truly had another bout of bad going on there. I’m so sorry about Godot. Nature can be so beautiful and yet so incredibly cruel at the same time. Heartening to see your news about little in the comments lounge. Hopefully all is on an upswing now. Little Geraldine seems so proud of her crown. The look in her eye seems older than her days.

  9. So sorry for such a hard time you are having. I suppose it will make you stronger, if that’s even possible. I keep wondering if probiotics would help those calves, not that I know anything about them. Maybe some milk kefir…?

  10. I am so sorry about Godot – life and death on the farmy is difficult to handle at times and I know that I would be in tears so often if it was my farm. I do love how you shared your short encounter with the man working on the truck hitch. So often I need jolts like that as well to remind me that I have absolutely nothing to be complaining about. The challenges I have encountered in my life are minimal compared to so many. Thank you for leaving me with a lot to think about today. Hope your day goes much better today. Hugs.

  11. I’m very sorry to hear about Godot, but well done on the progress with the calves. Geraldine does look very cute with her crown 😉

  12. The ups and downs of livestock … we never know what each minute may bring. I am crossing fingers for your calves. Good news in the comments! Very sorry to read about Godot.

  13. Such sad news about Godot, and I must say even though I understand the whole dominance thing in nature, I am NOT liking Mr. Flowers very much right now, no matter how lovely his plumage. You are doing such a good job with those small cows…all fingers still crossed that this bad time will end soon.

  14. Poor Godot, such a beautiful bird. Nature can be very cruel. Glad little has perked up so that’s some good news x

  15. Dear Celie, what can I say? Words of comfort are all very well, but we can’t bring him back. I suppose the establishment of pecking order just got out of hand for poor Godot, RIP.

    I’m so glad that the ivalids are showing signs of responding to your unceasing care, and pray that they continue to improve. What a shame they are too big to be taken under nanny Boo’s ‘wing’.
    Keep your spirits up,
    love ‘n hugs,

  16. One would have to be very pragmatic about life to be a farmer, I think. It’s hard to see so much struggle and lose while at the same time so much wonder and good. I will keep good thoughts on the babies that they thrive. What a sad ending for a beautiful bird. But one can not dwell on it. I shall also keep good thoughts for you to keep your strength with all the lack of rest you are getting. I don’t always leave a comment but yours is the first blog I read each day. Then I carry you all in my heart with silent prayers for the very best outcome of your day. Wishing you all well.

  17. So sorry to hear the sad news about beautiful Godot. His etheral presence will be missed. It must help a bit that the calves are feeling better. Will keep everyone on the farmy in my prayers.

  18. Oh my goodness, what a time you have had! So sorry for the loss of Godot, his gorgeous photos will be missed. And I think you are quite heroic, working so hard to save those animals. Compared to my life of ease sitting behind a desk writing all day, what you do is amazing! Sending you love and prayers.

  19. Celi, your meeting with the farmer on the road and the message of how fortunate we are, but often still complain reminds me of a saying my Mom often shared. “I was sad I had no shoes, until I chanced to meet, a man who had no feet.’ Definitely food for thought. xo

    • That sounds like a proverb. Very touching. Thank you for sharing it.

  20. What you said about the farmer you passed just humbled me something fierce this morning. I was having a “breakdown” of my own, but the vision of that man working away with a grin on his face put me “right” quickly. This is what I love of you Celi… you see the important things. I am sorry to hear about Godot. What a gentle and beautiful soul he was… we shall miss him – but oh how he blessed us all with his beauty and charm for this short while.

  21. Ah, poor Gadot….. And prayers for you and the wee calves. I know your weary, but you have so much strength.

  22. Oh dear, a sad day after all. It’s always sad to lose a treasured one and Godot was. The photo in your header holds so much more meaning.
    On the up-side, I am thrilled to hear of your apparent success with the calves… the photo of them is so lovely. To know Little is up and active as you approach is a major bonus… Hope this all improves hour by hour for you and you can finally take a deep breath and rest again.
    I always smile when I see your wee piglets. They always appear so shiny and clean, and slim too, hehehehe
    Hope your day just keeps improving hour by hour. ~ Mame 🙂

  23. Oh my your grass looks very tasty! Ours is white with weeks and weeks of heat and no rain.

  24. Oh C. What can I say that the rest of the Fellowship has not already voiced? I am so sorry. But like Kate said, Godot was not quite of this world, was he? Angels are usually quite reclusive and quiet and then disappear, do they not? I think his spirit will live on in beautiful little Geraldine with her exquisite tiny crown. She will wear that for him….He was magnificent and will be dearly, dearly missed…Love to you.

  25. Thank you C. I am so sorry for your loss of Godot, he was so beautiful. Thank you for the lesson. You are remarkable and I appreciate it.

  26. Seeing someone with courage and ability to proceed really does help us when we feel life has hammered us. Things are always there for us to see…things that help us. I’m glad the calves are improving that is a HUGE thing. About birds…sigh….birds are so horribly mean to each other it stuns me sometimes.


  27. oh dear sweet Godot. I am so very sorry- but such heartening news about Little….life can be hard and then you see the determined man driving his truck and you had such a wonderful response- brought tears to my eyes. Thank you for this blog.

  28. I was never able to figure out peafowl politics. I had a pair for a couple of years – Rudy and Trudy Patooti. A neighbor about a mile away had a single male. One morning my chickens were fussing and I looked out the window just in time to see the neighbor’s peacock run to the yard and hop the fence. He chased Rudy around the yard for a couple of laps, then they switched and Rudy chased him for a couple of laps. Then the outsider jumped back over the fence and ran home. There was never any contact, the intruder never came back. I’m so sorry for your loss, peafowl are such dear things.

  29. Unbelieveable what you all are going through. But you’re doing all so well, with so much love! It is so great. I am still hoping with you and the babies. That’s all I can do, but I surely wanted to lend you a helping hand.
    Oh, and poor beautiful Godot. I cannot believe it. Makes me sad.
    Thank you, Celi, for taking your spare time to tell us your news.
    All blessings upon you.

  30. Thank you, indeed! You can’t imagine how we depend on you, Cecilia, perhaps even more than all your creatures. I draw, I think all of us draw, spiritual and actual physical sustenance from you. No wonder you’re exhausted. If ever anyone is in the trenches, it is you. Slugging it out. Soldering on.
    I too want to offer my condolences for the terrible shocking loss of lovely, lacey Godot..

  31. I’m so sorry to hear about Godot 😦 farm & ranch living can be so heartbreaking. Glad the calves are perking up, hopefully they are out of the weeds.
    Take care Celi 🙂

  32. Sad news indeed about Godot. It’s good to stay positive, but you are also allowed to feel sad and have a whine…you’re only human after all x

  33. I still have not understood yet, what’s going on with this “rescue calves”. Isn’t it a crime to take those little ones away from their mothers at that early age? Furtheron isn’t it a crime to make money with such helpless creatures? A crime but never being avenged. – I have difficulties to imagine how all that works, how it can be. As I understand (from comments) there more farmers that buy those “rescue calves”. – If you (or s.o. else) would not have bought them, what would have happened? Would they let them die just so or yet trying to make money and to sell them to butchers? – Oh, all that cruelty just for money. It makes me sick… and rather furious.
    It helps me a bit out that Poppy and her family are doing so well.
    Again wish you all the best concerning Farmy Clinic. Hoping you soon will be out of the woods, as you expressed it.

    • To have milk you will have calves, every year a milking cow has another one and all those calves cannot possibly be milk cows too so the calves are sold on.. to be raised for meat. Which is ok. But these ones are really having trouble making me think they were not left with their mothers for long at all. But it is a reminder that if you drink milk – even goats milk – there are unwanted calves and kids so the milk can be drunk – this is why i prefer to do everything on a tiny sustainable scale.

      • I stopped using all dairy because of this heartless waste of lives….my small protest over 30 years ago when I first learnt that here in Australia bobby calves from a dairy herd can be just left to die after birth, taken from their mothers and left. I hear the mothers on the farm across the river, crying for their babies, it’s heart breaking and cruel. I choose not to eat meat, but I would rather see these bobbies fed up and then become chops and steaks, instead of this terrible waste and disrespect of life. It makes me very angry.

        • I agree.. and this is one of the corner stones of what i am doing here.. i am minding these calves for a friend who has had such bad luck lately – but even so, I don’ t think I will do it again – they came in so depressed.. I will go back to raising my own.. lesson learned

      • Thank you for your kind reply you two! I am so sorry (and angry) for that. I did not know that background. I like all dairy products so much (ok, I try to buy organic), but this makes me shiver. I knew for chicken, the little unwanted males are just shredded alive en masse. I will try to do some research to get some info for my country concerning cows. It really makes me sad. – I’ve also heard (and seen in a YouTube film) such a cruel thing related to sheep for getting wool – it’s called mulesing (esp. in AU and NZ). Terrible. One has to be aware of all things, eating, drinking, crocheting, knitting – all is heavily loaded with human cruelty. Oh my… where has mankind gone to…… Money, money, money – nothing else counts…

        • I had to google ‘mulesing’ because I had never heard of it. How awful, but I’m happy to let you know that NZ farmers have not done this for at least 10 years. That is a happy note on what is a sad Farmy day. Nice the baby bobbies are improving though. XO

  34. I, too, am sorry to hear about Godot. He will be missed. Your story of the farmer touched my heart. It’s true that we just always Count our Blessings. It’s ok to whine once in a while, though, just so we move on. For the record, though, I don’t really hear any whining from you. You bless all of us each day with your words. Thank you.

  35. I have been busy over the weekend with family stuff, so it was a shock to come back and read about the problems in the nursery ward, and to top it off the death f Godot. Do peacocks struggle with jealousy? I hope the worst is over by now and you find some timew to rest. Healing hugs for all wending their way over the pond.

  36. I am so sorry you are having such a rough go at the moment. The death of Godot would be hard enough but on top of all the stress you are dealing, that can’t be easy.

  37. Sorry about Godot. But on the upside sounds like the little calves are doing better.

  38. The loss of Godot is a tough one to contemplate, especially amidst the rigours of raising the calves, first from their original fate via the sales yards and now a second time round. Amongst all you inspire what shines for me is the strength to live by your beliefs and own work, to venture, try, succeed or learn and repeat if necessary…

  39. Such sad news, such good news. Poor wee Godot, RiP. Rescue Remedy for all the humans, for the shock and sadness, and help replenish you while battling for the babies, and Mrs Flowers too if you can get near her, even a waft in a spray bottle in the air near her will be enough, she will be missing her mate. Hugs X

  40. To use ‘adages’ again: we seem to have reached that ‘it never rains but pours’ stage once more . . . . it probably does not make it easier to know that ‘this too will pass’. I hope very soon. Actually my favourite photo today is that of little Tomoyo fighting that chicken arc so bravely . . . methinks good for you to have her company and help . . .

    • I love that shot too, she is so tiny – tinier than me and I am letting her get her back into it – she feels such a sense of satisfaction now that she has discovered that she CAN move it by herself.. lovely girl.. c

  41. Such a moving post Celi…you’re doing wonders with the little calves giving them what their mothers weren’t allowed to give them, including the TLC… Godot breaks my heart like everyone else… but your last story about the farmer was such a gift… so beautiful and so amazing, the way the human spirit can be so undaunted.. so humbling to read that wonderful story, thank you…

  42. I was devastated when I read of Godot. I guess there can only be one king of the castle. Glad the little calves are getting a bit stronger each day. If anyone can see them through, my money is on you, Cecilia. We can always find someone with a harder row to hoe.

  43. So, I have to ask, and maybe you’ve already addressed this. but….. are you treating the calves for coccidiosis?? Can you give them antibiotics to clear up the scours, or is that a no-no for the way you are raising them….such as to be Organic?? Have you thought about getting a fecal test run?? Again, sorry if you have already addressed these things.

  44. So sorry to read about Godot – I know the shock of losing one unexpectedly when you’re busy with other things. And don’t beat yourself up about whining, Celi – as you say “a few days of lack of sleep” – lack of sleep is a HUGE issue when you’re feeling down. I agree with tntdreaming – check for coccidia and treat, if you aren’t already (and as mentioned, I’m sure you already have).

    Sending good thoughts your way for a return to normalcy, and healthy calves soon (and everything else on the farm!).

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