Thursday, February 13, 2014

Rainy Days *Warning Contains Graphic Image*

We finally got some much needed rain. 

This was only the beginning.

I had to break out my Muck Boots. It was the only way I could walk down the pathway to the pasture, without slipping and sliding all over on the clay.

The lambs stayed snug and dry in their pen.

The cats found a nice dry place to cuddle up outside the kitchen door.

My Dad recently brought this chipper home from his parents house. Now we can put it to work making lots of wood chips for the garden. Yay! Bye bye pesky weeds.

One of my Peruvian guinea pigs, Lottie, had her babies. She had two but only one survived birth. A little female. Here she is at a few days old.

*Now we get to the graphic stuff.*
I know everyone wanted a update on my Moms cow Sweet Pea. 
Well, she continued to gain weight even though we tried to keep her on a sparse diet of rye hay. Any little change in diet would cause her to bloat, and always laying on her right side with her rumen sticking up (their rumen is on the left side). Cows or any ruminant animal, cannot burp when they are laying on there side. 

Finding your sweet pet cow laid out with her legs sticking in the air, and her abdomen swollen to twice its normal size is quite a horrible site.  She would gasp for air, with all the gas in her crushing her lungs. My Mom was very careful about feeding her, but she just kept gaining weight causing her belly to hang down lower and lower. 

So it was very sad for my Mom to have to make the decision to have her butchered. But it was either that or she was just going to end up dying one day when we didn't catch her in a fit. I think she has bloated a total of five times, and that's five times to many. It's not easy getting a cow rolled back over onto its feet! At least if it was a goat a single person could pick it up. This last time we (my Mom and I) tried and tried, and just could not get her up ourselves. So my Mom got the tractor, and I tied her lead rope to the back of it. she pulled, while I pushed, and it pulled her right up. Then I thought "Why didn't we do that before!" 

So the next day was the appointment for her to get butchered and when the guy that does the slaughter showed up, he said that he had never seen a cow like her in all the years he has been butchering. We were a little nervous that there was going to be something like a tumor inside of her, and the butcher was quite sure that there was something bad in there. But to everyone's surprise IT WAS JUST FAT. Tons of fat. Bright yellow, so yellow it was almost orange.

This is just the fat that was on the intestines and rumen. There was lots of chunks of fat that was thrown into another container, but I thought I would spare you the image.

He showed us her reproductive organs and they were completely normal with no problems. Still no explanation as to why she had milk without a calf. And the milk never did dry up. 

It was a sad day, but it ended with quite a surprise. After a tiring day of getting everything cleaned up after the cow was done. I went out that evening to feed the goats, and one of our newer goats (Henna) was out in the shed with a baby toddling around her looking for milk. We were not expecting her to have her baby for about a month! I hurried to feed the goats, so they wouldn't follow us out there. And we rushed out to check the new baby.
Where did those ears come from?! Her Mom is LaMancha. It turns out the previous owners Nubian got her, before she put her in with the LaMancha buck. Surprise, Surprise. She is so tiny, and I mean tiny. 

So we had to play musical animals to get her situated in a nice warm, dry pen. That meant moving the lambs here, so we can move that goat and baby over there, Oh well...... Let me just say we went to bed very tired that night.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Pasture Happenings

The lambs are growing like weeds. It is amazing how fast sheep grow!



 Myrtle again

 We settled on the name Maestro for the little ram lamb. He's the tiny guy closest to the camera.

I can't help taking so many pictures of her. She's always at my side.

I figured out why Violet is such a slow poke. She was pregnant. Poor little girl. She had her first baby around the time she should have been getting bred. I guess she had her own plans. Surprisingly she's a good little Mama.
Pepe Le Pew

I love his white waddles. I love waddles!
Apparently he was sired by one of the angora or angora cross bucks.

Now Jubilee was the cause of me penning all the bucks up early. (The weird weather threw all the animals in season early.) So I knew she had gotten herself bred, I just didn't know who the Daddy was. Mystery solved yesterday.
Kanga is definitely her Daddy.

What makes it even stranger is she was a single. I thought for sure there was going to be another. Jubilee alway has twins. Oh well. She's cute.

Going for a walk with the goats.

 Morning Glory, sporting her sleek white PVC pipe accessorized with black Gorilla Tape. 

 They practically disappear in all the wispy stems from the grass seed.

Out to the Eucalyptus trees

Yum yum. I keep the fence closed in the Winter for this very reason. Goats only girdle trees during the winter. Or at least ours do.