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.