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.


Harry Flashman said...

When I lived at home, my father raised two or three beef cattle at a time. When the butcher was coming, I always left. I got to liking them and didn't want to see them killed.

I'm glad one of the guinea pig babies survived. They make nice pets, my daughter had one when she was younger.

I'm glad to see your post. You live on a real farm, as opposed to what I did, which was just have animals around for my kids. Now it's just me, the ferrets, the dogs, the cats and the chickens.

An At Home Daughter said...

You forgot your wife! She leave you alone to much. haha

This was the second litter of guinea pigs I have had, but a first for this Mama. It's not uncommon at all for them to have a baby die at birth. Its very sad though, to see a perfectly formed baby born ready to run around, and then it didn't survive the birthing process.

As for us being a real farm I don't know if we really qualify..... We only have 2 1/2 acres. But we try to make this place as productive as possible.
Hopefully this will be the end of us having cows. They are just to big for us and our place.


Tiffany said...

Wow...that is a lot of fat. Seems like the right thing to do as sad as it was to have her butchered. :(

I love seeing the pictures of all the animals on your farm! The lambs are very cute. As are the kitties, and goats and guinea pigs!

An At Home Daughter said...

Hi Tiffany,
Glad to hear from you. I have been watching for a new post from you in my Blogger.
Hope all is going well.

Kristin said...

I love all the pictures of your sweet babies! Enjoy the steaks from Sweet Pea.

An At Home Daughter said...

Hi Kristin,
Good to hear from you.
We aren't eating the meat from Sweet Pea. We have plenty from Vindicator. So my Mom sold her to 2 Weston A. Price families, but we had to handle the butchering. They did leave us with a little fat, and bones from her though. Man was there a lot of fat!

dawn said...

Thanks for the information! We had a cow,she was rescued & in such awful shape,skin & bones and seizures, it was horrible. My husband carried her home from the idiot neighbor's & she was 4 months old! He shouldn't have been able to lift her. Anyway, she had issues but lived & grew to about 1500 lbs. After 6 years she began bleeding internally & we put her down. Then the hay guy had a cow give birth to a 29 lb calf! Our corgi weighs 23 lbs. After a year, he decided to take her to the sale barn & I couldn't deal with that, so we brought her home. She has two sheep friends, and they all stay together, don't know why but it's sweet. She has scoliosis & a hump, she probably has a hind leg that isn't seated properly in the socket, but doesn't need it except for a bit of support. The vets, even Ag Universities are in the dark, most people don't keep calves like her, so no long term studies. She, like the cow before her has a home, until she is in a lot of pain, or can't get around, then we will have her euthanized.