Author Archives: Dawn Roberts

About Dawn Roberts

Followers of Jesus Christ masquerading as homeschooling, homechurching, baseball players/fans, & farmers.

1st calf 2019

Mike found Uno with her new addition this morning…

Since we’d already made arrangements to bring home a couple more loads of hay this morning, we decided to stick to that plan and bring Uno down with her calf after that.

Was fun waiting and wondering if it was a boy or a girl! We’ve never had a calf with so much white before. No doubt that’s because of our new bull – Mr. Sandman:

We headed up later in the morning, and saw extra activity around one of the round-bale feeders…๐Ÿ˜‚

Got a little closer, and saw the reason. This is a first for us – a calf in a “play pen”, lol!

Welcome, Angel!โค๏ธ She is Uno’s 4th calf for us. [Click here to read about Uno’s calf last year.] [Click here to read the post when Uno was born.]

Mike got the halter on Angel and lifted her through the feeder. She was a champ and made the mucky trek down to the barn with her mama.๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿผ

Her color-tipped ears are just darling…๐Ÿ˜

She ate like a champ!โค๏ธ

Whiney was pretty happy, too…๐Ÿ˜ป

Hard to believe this is our 13th season of calving! I just went and counted how many calves we’ve had over that period and am completely amazed. Angel is the 145th calf born here!๐Ÿ˜ฑ

To the best of our knowledge, we’re expecting 8 more calves this season.๐Ÿ™๐Ÿผ๐Ÿฎ

Lord, we are so grateful for how You’ve sustained us each and every year. Thank You for allowing us to care for these animals, and for providing nourishment from them for our family and so many others. Prepare us to handle whatever comes of this season, and grow us as You see fit through both the ups and the downs. It is a joy to see Your hand all around us! Amenโค๏ธโœ๏ธ

Rendering suet into tallow 2018

Now that all our beef for the year have been taken to the butcher shop, we’ve got suet that needs rendered into tallow. We’ve learned to do it as soon as we get it or it takes up precious freezer space for too long since there never seems to be a “good day” to plan to render, lol.๐Ÿ™„ So – despite it being 88ยฐ and humid today, onward we go!๐Ÿ™ƒ

Here are summary pictures from today and links for more details from earlier years are at the end.๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿผ

(The favorite part for me is cleaning up at the end of the process with super hot water & our tallow soap!โ˜บ๏ธ)

[click here to read about our experience rendering in 2013]

[click here to read about tallow in skincare]

[click here to read about an old lesson I learned that had tallow in it]

7th calf 2018

Went up to check on the dairy girls Tuesday afternoon after feeding the calves, and saw Sarge like this:

Of course, Tangerine had to be right there, blocking my view…๐Ÿ™„

LilRed was interested for a bit (above), and below you can see Gluey laying in the background…๐Ÿ™„

Sarge decided to lay down right next to Gluey, so Mike & I decided to hang around and watch…

Thankfully, we kept Coco down by the milking barn this morning. She was in standing heat again, and after the fiasco from her last heat, we decided we’d keep her away from the herd since we knew Sarge was close to calving. Sooooo glad we did that! {Click here to read about that crazy day.}

I love how curious our girls get when Mike sits down near them…๐Ÿ˜

Now Tangerine wants a front row seat, too…๐Ÿ™„

These next pics happened really quickly, so I didn’t get to capture everything. All I know is all of a sudden, Sarge got up and circled around swinging a calf that was still partially inside her… Mike jumped up to run in the field so he could pull if necessary, and/or keep the other two cows from stepping on the newborn calf…๐Ÿ˜ฌ

You can see them watching/wondering why Mike was running into the field, lol…๐Ÿ˜‚

Phew. All worked out fine!๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿผ

Mike kept Gluey and Tangerine away for a little bit so it didn’t get too crazy…๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿผ

And then the girls all made their rounds to meet Sarge’s bull calf. His name is Harry, and he is Sarge’s 3rd calf for us. (His name holds a double meaning. It goes hand-in-hand with Lloyd, our 3rd calf of this year๐Ÿ˜‚, and he is the last calf from our Hereford bull named Harry, so he’s named after his dad.๐Ÿ˜‰)

[Click here to read about Sarge’s calf from last year.]

[Click here to read about when Sarge was born.]

We decided to leave Harry with Sarge overnight and bring him down in the morning with the herd for milking.

Here we are approaching the field early this morning. Harry is between Gluey and Sarge…๐Ÿ™„

Due to the hazardous walking conditions from so much mud, we decided it would be safer to not put the halter on Harry up here. These guys tend to walk quicker than we can in this mess, so it could have been hard for us to keep up with them without slipping/falling/whatever.๐Ÿค•๐Ÿ˜ฌ

He made it out like a champ and wove in and out of the electric fence without issue. As we neared the barn, Mike was able to get the halter on him to lead him into the barn.๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿผ

So that’s all the calves for 2018! Final tally is 4 girls and 3 boys.๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿผ

We are so grateful we didn’t have any emergency vet calls this year, and that all our mamas cleaned on their own. Praise the Lord!๐Ÿ˜‡

Lord willing, this will be the year I’m able to be more consistent with blog posts about things going on around here…time will tell!๐Ÿ™๐Ÿผโ˜บ๏ธ

5th and 6th calf 2018

What a morning! Came over extra early in hopes of being able to make it to church, but it wasn’t long and we knew that wasn’t going to happen…

First, we could make out the outline of Uno and a calf; and then as we approached them, we could see another calf in the distance.๐Ÿ˜ฏ

These next few pics are not very good. It was still pretty dark, super cold on my ungloved hands, and pretty chaotic to say the least. Rather than scrap the pics, I decided to lighten them up as best I could and keep them as a reminder for memory purposes.

Here is Uno with hers – a girl!!๐Ÿ˜ This is Uno’s 3rd calf for us. [Click here to read about her calf last year.] [Click here to read about when Uno was born.] We’ve decided to name her Lulu – mainly because it sounds nice with her half-sister’s name that you’ll read about below…

And here is RedRobin’s (a.k.a. LilRed) calf – another girl!๐Ÿ˜ EXCEPT – she was NOT with LilRed, but Tangerine.๐Ÿ™„๐Ÿ˜ก

This is LilRed’s 2nd calf for us. [Click here to read about her calf from last year.] [Click here to read about when LilRed was born.] This calf is the great-granddaughter of Buttercup – one of the 3 heifers my Grandma and Grandpa Cegelka bought for the boys back in 2005. (My Grandpa wanted to buy the boys their first calves.โค๏ธ) [Click here for a cool Buttercup post.] Of the 3, Buttercup was the only one that made the cut as a dairy cow. She had 5 calves for us and was a GREAT milk cow. In honor of her, we wanted a flower name for this calf. So we decided on Lily.๐Ÿ˜

Lulu was still kinda wet and getting cleaned up, whereas Lily was pretty dry and spunky.

Since most of the activity was centered around LilRed’s, we decided to try to get it and the rest of the milkers to the barn first.

The walk to the barn was probably the most stressful walk we’ve had yet. Many lessons learned this season…๐Ÿ˜ฌ๐Ÿ™๐Ÿผ

She petered out halfway across the barnyard so Mike carried her into the barn. At least she wasn’t as big as Fiona!๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿผ

She was pretty exhausted after her big morning…

Mike laid her down in the pen with Lloyd. Then we put halters on Lloyd and Fiona and walked them next door. Fiona walked great. Lloyd – NOT SO MUCH. Mike came back to help me get him over.๐Ÿ™„๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿผ

We still needed to milk before we could feed the calves. Until then, we kept Fiona and Lloyd on one end of the corral. Patty and Fillup were on the other side, but they hadn’t come out from the barn to meet them yet…๐Ÿ™‚

After milking, we came back and fed these 4. Here are a couple pics of the new calf headlocks Mike is building. They aren’t finished yet because we needed live models to see if our spacing is correct. Good thing we waited to finish them – we’ll need to make them a wee bit smaller.๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿผ The saw horse is working ok to hold the buckets for now. Maybe this week, Mike will attach a board that will go all the way across.

After cleaning up from feeding calves, we decided we were going to run the mamas who have already calved back up to Grey Heaven. We’ve had enough of them being in Isengard.๐Ÿ˜‰

That meant we needed to move their round bale feeder and mineral feeder, too. So that’s what we tackled next.๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿผ

Uno+Lulu, Sarge, and Coco stayed. (Of course, I couldn’t help but take a few pics of them while I did the gates for Mike.)โ˜บ๏ธ

After we opened the divider gate, we headed up to Grey Heaven.

Don’t let the sunny day fool ya – today was SO COLD! The wind was nasty, and after a 4.5 hour morning in it, my whole body just hurt.๐Ÿ˜ฌ Yep – that’s ice in those puddles!โ„๏ธ

Still needed to feed some hay to the ones we left down by the barn, and then we could head inside for a warmup.๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿผโ˜•๏ธ

And we were blessed with a beautiful sight right before we headed home…โค๏ธ

3 hours later we came over to check on Lily in the barn. We were so thankful she got up! Such a cutie.๐Ÿ˜ We tried to feed her, but she wasn’t interested. Decided we try again later and we let her rest some more.

Went back out several hours later and did the afternoon feeding with some friends. Then it was time to bring Lulu to the barn. Extra hands meant someone else could take the pics! Thanks, Jennifer & Grant!โ˜บ๏ธ

Led her under under and out a fence and walked her to the barn.๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿผ

And last-but-not-least, 3 hours later, we returned to try and feed Lily again… SHE ATE!! It’s a beautiful sound to hear a calf suck down her milk!๐ŸŽถ

Thank You, Lord, for this amazing day. It’s been long and exhausting and cold, but You have sustained both us and our animals.โœ๏ธ

Only Sarge left to calve now. Count is 4 girls, 2 boys.๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿผ