Category Archives: Family

7th calf 2017

So today’s calf has a different story… Uno had her calf, with emergency vet assistance, in the milking barn.๐Ÿ˜ฌ

Not the way we prefer, but sometimes this is how farming goes. We are grateful there are those trained to handle these types of situations, and that they can arrive when we need them to.๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿผ

Mike and I had done a calf-check up in Mordor around 2, and all was well. But when Mike’s mom took her walk this evening, she noticed Uno walking around/pacing with a foot sticking out – and the foot was not facing the normal direction… Here is Uno.

I don’t have the best view here, but you can barely see a white hoof sticking out towards the top of her tail…

Fortunately, we didn’t have a ballgame tonight, so the boys joined Mike and I and we brought Uno down to the barn to get her in a headlock.

This kinda stuff is really out of our league. So we made the decision to make an emergency call to our vet. Within 45 minutes, Dr. Angel arrived and to our delight, pulled out a backwards calf – ALIVE! In less than 10 minutes!๐Ÿ˜ฏ Truly amazing!๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿผ

Here are some pics that are a bit graphic. Feel free to skip over them if they aren’t to your liking…๐Ÿ˜‰

Oh – and it’s a boy! Welcome Breech! (Thought the name seemed appropriate since he arrived backwards and it also loosely fits the gun category…๐Ÿ˜) He is Uno’s second calf for us. [Click here to read about her calf last year.] And click here to read about when Uno was born.

Check back tomorrow to see how things went overnight for mama and calf. Sadly, Uno left Breech to go outside to eat and look for her friends…๐Ÿ˜ก 

We placed some hay around him so it wasn’t as slippery, and toweled off Breech as best we could. Mike+Michael carried him outside to the grass. With a flashlight, we directed Uno over to Breech, and thankfully, she began to tend to him again. We took a couple pics that looked like progress to us, so we’ll see how things are in the morning.๐Ÿ™๐Ÿผ๐ŸŽฌ


Next morning: 3-29-17

Such a beautiful site as we came over to begin our day…

Although, Breech was on the wrong side of the fence, you could tell Uno took good care of him through the night.๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿผ

We knew Breech must have been able to walk ok since they were in a different location from when we left them last night, but we were surprised at his quick maneuvering when Mike went to put the halter on! Mike almost had tackle him to keep him from running!๐Ÿ™ƒ But all ended fine and he’s settled in the barn. Thank You, Lord!โค

Tally: 4 girls, 3 boys (and 4 to go, we think!)๐Ÿฎ

6th calf 2017

Another afternoon walk by Mike’s mom tipped us off that a cow was looking ready to have her calf… Mike and I went up an hour later to check things out.๐Ÿฎ

Yep – could see a little one as we neared the field!

It was cute – running around 3 cows, trying to figure out which one was its mama!๐Ÿ˜‚

From left to right is: Sarge, Fiskars, and Oreo(Cookie)…

Meet Snowflake! {Ugh. My random-naming sons… There is absolutely NOTHING snowflake-ey about today, lol! Yet they insist…๐Ÿ™„๐Ÿ˜‚}

This is Sarge’s second calf  for us. [Click here to read about last year’s calf.] And click here to read about when Sarge was born…

I love that I caught Sarge’s tongue out, lol! She’s all ready to finish cleaning Snowflake up…๐Ÿ˜‰

They were headed in the right direction, so we decided to leave them together for now. We’ll run up after tonight’s game and make sure they are both still together and ok. Most likely, we’ll bring them down in the morning.โšพ๏ธ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿผ

Check back later tomorrow to see what happens!๐ŸŽฌ


Added these from this morning: 3-28-17

What a soggy morning it was! Made it a muddy mess, but all went well getting Sarge and Snowflake down to the barn.โ˜”๏ธ

Here we are heading up… 

[I guess today is Junior’s blog debut! He showed up a couple months ago, and he got his name because he looks so much like Blake!๐Ÿ˜ป This year Blake turns 11, which is highly unusual for a barn cat – especially considering the busy road we live on. We are grateful he made it through another Ohio winter! Junior is fun because he’s got a lot of kitten in him. He’s playful and very energetic. Can’t say that Blake is super fond of Junior yet, lol… But we do our best to shower them each with lots of love and attention.๐Ÿ˜บ]

Junior on the left & Blake on the right…โคโค

Anyways… Junior followed us almost all the way to Mordor…

He stopped here, at the roundbales…

Here we are catching up with Snowflake…

Off we headed out of Mordor…

Had to weed out their anxious entourage, but it worked out fine. (Everybody wants out of Mordor, but the grass hasn’t grown enough yet… Lord willing: it will be SOON!)๐Ÿ™๐Ÿผ

Here is where we met back up with Junior. Looks like he just wanted to check out our baby-routine…๐Ÿ˜น

Aaaand then he wanted to JOIN our routine, lol!๐Ÿ˜บ

Here Sarge and Snowflake were serenaded by the other newly-freshened mamas…๐ŸŽถ

And here is Blake making sure he isn’t overshadowed by Junior…๐Ÿ˜‰

After milking, Mike and Paul moved Remington and Colt over to our place while Michael cleaned the milkline. These two calves were VERY ornery. Paul had Colt, who really made Paul work. First he only wanted to go backwards. Then he changed direction and only wanted to run. His huge size meant he got to do whatever he wanted, lol! (I’m so glad it was Paul working with him and not me – I could barely keep up to take a couple pictures!๐Ÿ™„๐Ÿ˜ฌ)

New tally: 4 girls, 2 boys and 5 more to come (we think!) Half way done!!๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿผ

Last minute move…

When your boys come home from practice and say they need to be at the school for tomorrow’s double header at 9am, you automatically start thinking backwards from when they need to leave, to when daylight breaks.โšพ๏ธ๐Ÿค”

We already know about bringing Colt and Disco down in the morning… And with the rapid succession of calves thus far, there could very well be more in the morning.๐Ÿ˜ฌ

So we decided it would be wise to transport the 3 oldest calves to their new field at our house tonight, instead of in the morning, when our time will be rushed.๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿผ

First up were the twins. Paul has Maple and Mike has Syrup.๐Ÿ˜Š

Here they are meeting a couple of last year’s calves who are on the other side of the fence…

Next up: Rose…๐ŸŒน

Now they are all together, and it was time to test out those legs! It is always so fun to watch them run for the first time!๐Ÿ˜

Here’s another view of last year’s calves introducing themselves to the newbies.๐Ÿ˜

Ok – so now we have a spot open for Colt in the morning plus two extra ones… Wonder what tomorrow will bring?!๐Ÿค”๐Ÿ™๐Ÿผ

5th calf 2017

Another afternoon calf! Mike’s mom said she saw a calf in the dairy girls’ hay when she came back from a walk, so Mike and I headed up to check things out.

Meet Disco’s 9th calf for us: a boy – Colt.โ˜บ๏ธ

He looks to be rather large, just like Remington. This post will be another two-parter. We’ll let them stay together until tomorrow, and will bring them down in the morning.

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

Check back tomorrow for more pics of their trip to the barn…๐ŸŽฌ


Updated from this morning 3-25-17

We were all relieved it was just Disco and Colt to bring down this morning. They cooperated nicely, and I think it’s safe to say all three of my boys were grateful Colt walked down on his own because NONE of them wanted to pick him up/carry him!๐Ÿ’ช๐ŸผโŒ

He is even bigger than Remington, who was born 2 days before Colt!๐Ÿ˜ฑ He has longer hair which is super cute…โ˜บ๏ธ

He ALMOST gave up, right at the end, lol… But he did get up and walk into his stall. Whew!๐Ÿ˜‰

Updated tally: 3 girls, 2 boys and 6 more to go (we think)!๐Ÿฎ

4th calf 2017

Well, we didn’t have a calf this morning, BUT, when we went up to do a check this afternoon, THERE WAS!โ˜บ๏ธ

ScotchTape was off by herself in a grove of trees, so we figured there’d be a calf with her…

It looked like the calf had just been born – was still wet and laying down. We decided to let ScotchTape clean it up and feed it. Then we’d come back up in a couple hours to see how they were doing and find out if it was a boy or a girl. Since we’d already milked for the day and the boys were gone at baseball practice for the afternoon/evening, Mike and I decided that as long as Tape did a good job being mama, we’d let them stay together for the night and bring them down in the morning…๐Ÿ™๐Ÿผ

Thankfully, that is just what happened! Meet: Remington – our first boy for this season.๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿผ (Mike’s sister gave the boys a category idea for this year’s bull calves: gun brands. Sounds like they liked the idea!๐Ÿ˜‰) 

[click here to read about her calf last year]

Lord willing, tomorrow I will add Remington’s adventure to the barn onto this post. *STAY TUNED*๐ŸŽฌ


Update from this morning 3-23-17:

Remington was well taken care of and it was not a problem bringing him and ScotchTape down to the barn.

Next we had to play musical calves… Plan A was to put the twins together, and Remington could have the last stall to himself… So Mike handed Maple over to Paul…

HOWEVER, Maple and Syrup immediately began sucking on each other, so we knew a Plan B was in order…๐Ÿ™„

So next the boys had the move the pile of scrap metal we haven’t gotten around to taking care of yet…๐Ÿ˜ฌ

Now we had room to put up another gate.

Now we were ready to split the twins back up and move Maple back to her own stall.๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿผ

The weather is finally looking nicer, so Lord willing, we can move all these guys to the field over by our house tomorrow. That way we’ll be ready for round two of calves!๐Ÿ˜‰

Tally: 3 girls, 1 boy and 7 more to go (we think!)โ˜บ๏ธ

2nd & 3rd calves 2017

TWIN GIRLS!!๐Ÿ˜ฎ๐Ÿ˜ฎ Meet Maple and Syrup. Mike was delighted to see that one of our two bred heifers (Pinetar) not only had one cleaned-up, full-tummied calf this morning, but TWO!๐Ÿ˜ฑ

Pinetar took really good care of her new babies…๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿผ

[click here to read about when Pinetar was born]

This is our first set of successful twins here, so we are pretty excited!๐Ÿค—

Back in 2010 we had a cow named Amy who had one live calf and one deceased calf. (It was before blogging days, so I don’t have a link to share.) But click here to read about Peekaboo – half of another set of twins we had back in 2012.

Mike and Paul were able to get halters on Maple and Syrup pretty easily.๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿผ

Here is Maple:

And here is Syrup:

Maple was not as cooperative with walking as Syrup was… The boys took turns carrying her all around Mordor. (At least these girls were smaller than Rose was yesterday, lol!๐Ÿ˜‚)

Paul carried her first…

Then Pinetar led us through downed trees/scratching posts…๐Ÿ™„๐Ÿ˜ฌ

Next it was Michael’s turn to carry Maple…

And finally, we all made it through the gate and into the runway to the barn.๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿผ

Syrup walked the whole way down with her mama, and I drove Michael and Maple down in the chariot…๐Ÿ˜‰

Whew. What a morning! Thank You, Lord!โค

Tally now 3 girls, 0 boys, and 8 more to go…WE THINK!๐Ÿ˜‰๐Ÿ™๐Ÿผ 

1st calf 2017

Such a great way to celebrate the first day of spring – with new life! Welcome first calf of 2017!๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿผ Can’t believe this is our 10th season of calving!๐Ÿ˜ฑ

Mike found Tangerine with her daughter when we went up to do a calf-check this morning. [click here to read about her calf last year]

She is Tangerine’s 6th calf, and we decided to name her Rose. (Think: spring, flowers, roses…๐Ÿ’)

The 4 of us waited to go up so Tangerine could clean her up a bit and get her fed. Apparently she did that and then walked Rose over to the unrolled round bale so SHE could eat…

(This pic cracks me up… Guess she was hungry!๐Ÿ˜‹)

It would have been nice if the duo would have walked down to the barn together, but that was not the case. Rose was tired. And Tangerine just wanted to eat, lol.๐Ÿ˜‚

Mike was relieved Michael volunteered to carry Rose to the baby buggy.๐Ÿ’ช๐Ÿผ

Michael drove them down to the barn while Paul & I waited by Tangerine. We were thinking that maybe the two of us could convince Tangerine to follow the 4wheeler, but that wasn’t the case.๐Ÿ™„

Once Mike & Michael joined us back up in Mordor, we worked together to bring Tangerine down. She was incredibly stubborn and frustrating… Had us running in mud and out of breath (at least Mike & I were, lol.)๐Ÿ˜ฌ

Here she is taking a water break.

Thankfully, she chilled out after this and walked cooperatively down the rest of the way.๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿผ

Here is Rose all nestled in… She is a sweet calf!โค Lord willing, we are expecting 9 more…๐Ÿฎ

Thank You, Lord, for holding off our first calf until a little warmer weather arrived. Prepare our bodies and our equipment to handle navigating through this slippery mud as we move from winter to spring. Teach us what You want us to learn from this year’s calving season. May we honor You with each step we take. Amen๐Ÿ™๐Ÿผ

Pastured pigs 2016

Last year we raised two Berkshire pigs as an experiment – and they were SO cool!! They were a perfect compliment to our dairy, feasting on our discard of skim, buttermilk, whey, and scraps. They were moved through a couple of our pastures and we also added some soaked oats to their diet. It was important to us to not feed any corn or soy. {Click here to read more details about Dave & Buster.}๐Ÿท

It has been a joy to have pork in our freezer! We have been very pleased with the flavor of the meat.๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿผ

Since our experiment went so well, we decided to open it up to our customers for ordering this year. The response was amazing! We closed orders at 10 after a couple days because we didn’t want to be too overwhelmed in the jump from 2 to 10…๐Ÿ™๐Ÿผ

Today we headed to Loudonville and picked up 7. (The final 3 will come from a separate batch.) They are 7 weeks old. These will be named after the 7 dwarves: Doc, Grumpy, Happy, Sleepy, Bashful, Sneezy, and Dopey.โค๏ธ (Can’t wait to see who will get each name!!)๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿผ

So fun that our friend Jennifer stopped by when we were unloading them! She also raises piggies and was excited to see them!โค๏ธ

The last one! Wonder if it will end up being named Bashful?๐Ÿ™„๐Ÿท๐Ÿ˜‰

Here they are in their new place. We’ll keep them in here for a few days to get used to us and learn what electric fence is. (You can see we have a line of fence strung along the side.)

The calves even came down to check out what was going on…๐Ÿฎ

Didn’t take them but a few minutes to start rooting around…๐Ÿฝ

No doubt, more posts will follow as they grow and the season progresses. Can’t believe May is almost here!๐ŸŒท๐Ÿ’๐ŸŒบ

10th and final calf 2016

We knew it yesterday, as we heard the forecast for the next morning: SNOW+WIND…โ„๏ธ๐Ÿ’จ WE JUST KNEW IT. Final calf would be born in a blizzard.๐Ÿ˜

We. Were. Right.๐Ÿ˜ Fiskars is Paul’s cow. {Click here to read about her calf from last year.} Last year she had the first calf of the season, and this year she closes out our season! Even though it was a blustery, yucky morning, we are all extremely thankful it all went smoothly.

Click here to read about when she was born, and here to go to a past post that contains links of Paul with Fiskars over the years.  

Paul named her calf: Flapjack (think ridiculous cartoon: The Marvelous Misadventures of Flapjack๐Ÿ™„) He joins Clark as the only other bull this season. Final tally: 2 boys and 8 girls.๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿผ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿผ

I walked up to Mordor solo since we had an extra helper this morning. The boys’ friend, Blake, got to join us for this adventure.๐Ÿ˜Š

If you “super zoom”, you can almost see the clump of cows all the way back in the farthest corner of Mordor…๐Ÿ”  


Flapjack didn’t quite make it out the gate on his own, but we think he did pretty good given the circumstances!๐Ÿฎ  

3 Amigos!๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜


Horizontal snow!!๐Ÿ˜ณ    

Flapjack got a nice rub-down…โค๏ธ      

Blake and his namesake…๐Ÿ˜    

Even though his mama had fed him some, Flapjack finished off a bottle, too. Can’t blame him. All that chaos makes for hungry tummies – calves AND humans…๐Ÿค—  

Well, Lord, what a whirlwind of a calving season this has been! Thank You for sustaining us through it, and for using it to build up our endurance for the next chapter here. We look forward to seeing more of Your plan unfold, one step at a time. May we stay focused on You. Amen๐Ÿ™๐Ÿผ

Thought I’d end this post with some fun stats from our first 10 years of calving. Kinda neat to see how our calving window has shortened up over the years! Perfect for our small, seasonal dairy.๐Ÿฎ

2007: 13 calves over 25 weeks

2008: 6 calves over 22 weeks

2009: 23 calves over 22 weeks

2010: 14 calves over 14 weeks

2011: 16 calves over 12 weeks

2012: 11 calves over 9 weeks (with a late one 4 weeks later)

2013: 13 calves over 8 weeks

2014: 8 calves over 8 weeks

2015: 9 calves over 5 weeks

2016: 10 calves over 3 weeks (Wow!!! No wonder my body feels so tired, lol!๐Ÿ˜ฑ๐Ÿ˜‰)

9th calf 2016

Look what Mike found when he went up for a calf-check on this rainy/cold afternoon: 
 Yep. Disco had her calf – ANOTHER GIRL!!!๐Ÿ˜ฑ (That makes 8 girls and one boy.) {Click here to read about her calf from last year.}

Boys have named her: Ruby. (Totally random – though they DID say she has a rosey complexion, lol.๐Ÿ˜‰)

By the time we were all suited up, Disco had moved her into an area with some trees. When Mike left them, she had fed her calf. And we were REALLY hoping she’d have Ruby all cleaned up. BUT, she didn’t.๐Ÿ˜ก Good thing I had brought some old towels to the barn. This ones gonna need some work.๐Ÿ˜  


Ruby is pretty large, and didn’t seem too interested in walking – especially in the muck & mire. That was fine by us, we weren’t exactly thrilled to be trudging through it either…๐ŸŒง๐ŸŒจ๐Ÿ’จ  

Michael had to make a quick detour and guard the fourwheeler… For some reason, Coco decided she wanted to beat it up.๐Ÿ˜ณ

Michael drove Mike & Ruby down to the barn. Paul & I stuck with Disco.  

You’ll notice the few pics I have are from pretty far away. That’s because I couldn’t keep up with Michael’s driving! (I’m thinking of renaming him Mario…๐ŸŽ๐Ÿ๐Ÿ˜)

(I had to sprint AND ZOOM to get this one…๐Ÿ˜‚)  
Ruby got a nice rub down, and some fresh hay to snuggle down in.โค๏ธ    

Well, it wasn’t exactly how we wanted to spend our afternoon, since the boys’ baseball game got cancelled DUE TO YUCKY WEATHER, lol, but that’s ok.๐Ÿ˜Š

Almost done with 2016 calves!! One more left…๐Ÿ™๐Ÿผ