This is what Our John asks of me every evening when he arrives home from work. “Any news?” Our John leaves at 5am and does not get home much before 7pm so there is potential for news. The days are very long. I remember my brother in law asking me something similar when we were all very young “Anything exciting happen?.” I remember distinctly my deep disappointment at having nothing exciting happen in my life worthy of report.
But now that I have a farm there is news and happenings all the time.
Though all of it has a backstory that stretches across days and weeks and months so my ‘news’ is seldom as exciting as last weeks arrival of Inky. The news is always appearing but disguised as ordinary farm happenings.
There is good news and bad news.
The good news is that Alex is finally showing signs of being pregnant. She spent most of yesterday sleeping over by the barn – it was very hot yesterday and very humid too, and I was in the barn cleaning out Mollys pen for a few hours so was able to observe her when she arose after her long nap.
She dropped a long thick strand of mucous (I know you hate talking about mucous but this is a farm blog after all). She has been carrying a little udder for a few months now and looks huge (but Dexters always look huge – check out Txiki). I saw the huge underwater push of a calf the other day but put that down as wishful thinking, having seen no other real evidence.
But dropping strands is news. For me – a discharge is the surest way of determining pregnancy. Carlos bred such little calves that the cows themselves are not very big at all. Which means he will probably do well in his new home.
So, I think, if all goes well, we might be looking at another tiny calf very soon. I hope all goes well. Alex had Txiki easily so I am hopeful.
Molly the sow is starting to belly down. Fast. This is her third gestation so once the farrowing pen is ready I will give her some straw to make a bed and leave her to it. She is not as crazy as she was last time thankfully. Much calmer.
The bad news is that Lady is not letting her milk down properly again. I am started milking her three times a day to stave off trouble and she is eventually giving me a reasonable amount of milk but she is showing signs of an infection. I have had such trouble with her since I weaned her big calf. I am thinking of buying in a calf to nuzzle about her, possibly even drink from her, helping her let down but that would be an expensive experiment. It would be almost too simple a solution and I find nothing is ever that simple in farming. Every decision has about twenty variables. She would kick it across the milk room I am sure. And where to find a baby calf.
So, yes, there is news – but all of it is part of the continuous sequence of this rather visceral lifestyle I lead. The extremes of news stand out. But the rest is a continuum. A rustle of news rather than a specific parcel of happenings.
I hope you have a lovely day.
WEATHER: Even hotter.
Friday 09/22 0% / 0 in
Sunny. High 92F. Winds SSW at 5 to 10 mph.
Friday Night 09/22 10% / 0 in
Clear skies. Low 66F. Winds light and variable.
6:40 am 6:49 pm
Waxing Crescent, 6% visible 9:00 am 8:29 pm
And the moon is in his waxing stage so it is time to start work on the newsletter which will come out at Full Moon. I like our lunar cycle. It make more sense somehow. Gentler.
Poor Lady Astor – I hope she improves soon..
One of these days I’m going to have to come and visit.
Excellent news about another impending calf! Poor Lady A. I suppose you don’t want to bring her calf back over. Do you think calf mooing sounds would get her to let down? Surely there are some of those in the net….just an idea, probably a bad one. Good luck with her.
A very good post and nice pictures. Thanks for sharing!
So pleased about Alex. Aunty Anna needs to feed that skinny calf, hope Lady A recovers soon. Looking forward to getting my laptop back to be able to appreciate the pictures better. That autumnal sunset is stunning. Laura
That calf is so tiny!
Plenty of news, and a stunning sunset too, thank you!
Yes the sunset was lovely last night
Love reading the good news! And hoping that the three milkings a day will lead to the recovery of Lady Astor’s udders. As soon as they happens would drying her off be the next step that would hopefully lead to full recovery? No doubt her udders will have to be fully recovered though before you start the drying off process.
Yes – as soon as her production has dropped enough and she is healthy I will dry her up. That is the plan.
I hate to mention this, but could she have a shot to dry her out like they have for women who lose their baby? I know we all detest hormone shots, but would it be in the best interest for Lady A?
Happy for wee Alex.
Once her production drops I will dry her out but she must be healthy too.
Such surprises. Hoping all the babies are alright.
oh my= there is always something going on when farming- I hope all goes well for all the mommies!
I love your sunset picture. I think sunrises and sunsets are what I will miss most about our farm.
Are you leaving your place?
Yes, about three weeks ago we moved to Texas and are living in a retirement community near Laura and Doc.
Oh of course- I knew that- we were worried about you with the flooding .
We weren’t here during the hurricane and the place where we’re living now didn’t flood. You may already know that Laura and Doc’s first floor was damaged and they are living in their second floor while the first is being repaired.
When we decided to give up milking we started raising replacement heifers for dairies. Then (after a long time) we just started raising calves for us–to eat, and sell. The loss of the milk was huge, BUT the return of free time without extreme worries about infections was such a relief. Here’s hoping she heals quickly.
Yes! I can’t wait to be done with it. Now she a bit bloaty again and refused to come in. So I took the machine to her and milked her anyway. Not much and clean- makes no Sense.
Something she is eating, maybe….
Nice pics and writing
Remember the choice is yours…. Be happy!
I hope lady A gets back to normal soon. I also love the sunset photo, stunning!
It’s a calm riot you have going on there, Ceci! Have you ever felt like the Ringmaster amidst all of this? Love your thoughts on ‘happenings and exciting’. A much better invitation to conversation than ‘How’s it going?’, unless you’re working on a specific project – then that would be appropriate. G’day to you!
Going to be swimming in babies before too long. Hoping all goes well. The instagram video of Wai yesterday was just too sweet. I hope this warm weather holds so he can stay warm until he heals completely.
It’s clear that Carlos the Tiny found a box to stand on to do his business at least twice…
*big smile* Never thought it would happen: our temperatures in Central Illinois and the Southern Highlands of NSW are equal for today and tomorrow . . . .except you will not have a very high bushfire warning . . . . with all; the babies coming I do hope the Indian summer stays awhile . . . .
JT collects interesting news from events around the world and when we sit in the living room, he tells me about them which spawns great discussions. Of course, we also talk about things in our own lives!
Your writing is so lovely, C. I know I can come here and find myself completely drawn into the “news” of the day or at the very least, thoughts, considerations and new observations. There is always something to learn, and many times we simply understand the emotion in the writing. I cannot wait to come visit one day!
I love the animals….hope all goes well….you give anyone who’d like a farm a taste of what it is really about….
I am interested in ‘medical’ stuff so don’t hold back on reports of effluvia and signs of pregnancy.
Good about the pregnancy. Bad about Lady. LOVE the photo of the chickens and pigs; especially the inquisitive fellow(?) in the centre who appears to have a rooster perched on his back (à la “The Bremen Minstrels”; )
Such a lovely Sunset Silhouette: )